The Digitisation of Bricks and Mortar Retail Space in Australia

Image source: Gilles Lambert

The Australian retail landscape has been evolving at an unprecedented pace. Over the past decade, the transformation of the retail industry can be widely attributed to technological advancement and increased connectivity to consumers. 

Whilst it’s no surprise ecommerce platforms have experienced explosive growth, traditional brick-and-mortar stores continue to remain an integral component of Australia’s retail sector – however, the distinction between physical and digital retail is blurring. Here, we delve into the burgeoning trend of digitising bricks and mortar spaces in Australia.


Digitisation is not merely about bringing the store online. Instead, it’s a transformative approach that merges the best of both worlds –  the tangible experience of physical shopping and the convenience of online browsing. Smart retailers across Australia have begun implementing digital kiosks, interactive touch screens, and augmented reality (AR) fittings. This not only enriches the in-store experience but also offers data insights previously exclusive to online retailers.


One significant advantage online platforms have over traditional retail is the ability to personalise shopping experiences based on user behaviour and preferences. By incorporating technology like AI and machine learning, physical stores are now catching up to the digital space. Consider walking into a store where the digital displays show products that align with your past purchases or browsing history. Retailers like Country Road and Myer are experimenting with such tech integrations, offering a unique and tailored shopping experience.


Anyone who’s faced long queues at the checkout knows the allure of a seamless, fast payment process.

Enter gate with Amazon App – Shop – Walkout | Image Source: Amazon

The adoption of self-checkout kiosks was just the beginning. Australian brands are researching technologies where customers can walk out with their chosen products, with sensors and apps managing the payment process in the background. This ‘frictionless checkout’ experience, inspired by Amazon Go, may soon be a reality in many Australian stores.


Digitisation allows physical retailers to harness the power of data and analytics. In-store tracking, much like online cookie tracking, can provide retailers with invaluable information about customer preferences, dwell times, and footpath routes. These insights can be utilised to refine store layouts, product placements, and even sales strategies.


Australian retailers are recognising the value of an omnichannel approach, where the physical store acts as an extension of the online platform. Click-and-collect services, for example, have become a staple in many stores, allowing customers to make a purchase online and pick it up in-store. This method not only drives foot traffic but also offers opportunities for additional in-store sales.


Digital integration in stores is also a step towards sustainability. Virtual fitting rooms or AR fittings can reduce the need for physical try-ons, thereby reducing potential wear and tear and waste. Moreover, digital inventory management can optimise stock levels, decreasing overproduction and waste.


The digitisation of bricks and mortar in Australia represents an exciting paradigm shift. It’s not about replacing the physical with the digital, but rather enhancing the traditional shopping experience with the best that technology offers. As retailers continue to innovate, we can anticipate an even more seamless, personalised, and engaging shopping journey in the years to come.

Explore more insights

 Previous Next