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In a recent survey, 98% of Australians cited that they would prefer to make online purchases from local retailers - but a huge 85% are instead turning to overseas stores, in order to secure cheaper prices and better deals. 

The findings come from MasterCard’s latest survey, which found that Australians consciously want to support local online retailers and would actively seek them out to make purchases, but only if prices were competitive to those offered by overseas retailers.

But if nearly all of these consumers are looking overseas to find a cheaper price, how can Australian online retailers compete?

Andrew Cartwright, MasterCard Australia’s country manager, said delivery speed and store loyalty are the answers.

Almost 60% of respondents cited that delivery speed was a very important factor when it came to deciding whether or not to buy from Aussie online retailers and nearly half (46%) said they liked to shop locally so they could buy from brands they know and trust. 

Local online shopping definitely has advantages when it comes to delivery speed, return/refund policies, as well as the ability to visit and view the product at bricks-and-mortar stores first.

But Cartwright emphasises that for consumers, it will always keep coming back to price. 

Aussie love a bargain, and should have the freedom to shop around and secure the best deal possible. The price obstacle is a difficult one to overcome for local retailers, but competition is the key for delivering customer satisfaction to Australians. 

People shop online for so many reasons - the convenience of shopping from your desk, the efficiency of getting it done with crows, the seemingly endless range. But increasingly, the public is doing their Christmas shopping online because they are seeing very serious cost savings to be had.

This study shows that consumers want to shop locally, if they can get the same value they get from overseas retailers.

The report also highlighted the continuing meteoric rise of e-commerce within Australia, as it found that more than 12.5 million (89%) consumers had made an online purchase during the last year - and that two thirds of consumers shop online at least once a month

[Image credit: Polycart

Claire Brinkley

Published 11 December, 2012 by Claire Brinkley

Claire Brinkley is Econsultancy Australia's news and insight reporter. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn

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