Home > Communication > 5G > Oz Consumer Sentiment Down & Still Sceptical Of 5G

Challenging market conditions characterising 2019 have resulted in pessimistic outlooks for the all-important holiday trading period, while telcos are still struggling to sell Australian’s on the benefits of 5G, with many remaining sceptical in the face of the apparent network revolution that Telstra always tells us ‘we’re not ready for’.

According to research released by Deloitte, positive sentiment is down with only 62% of retailers expecting to see higher sales for Christmas, down by 18% from last year.

Unfortunately for some retailers, 40% expect to see some form of marginal decrease during Christmas, with 39% having to introduce discounts in the lead up to the holidays as a means to help drive sales.

While digital sales are a standout, as has been noted by the boom in online retail and impulse shopping, with 58% expecting to see a growth of 10% or more, only 72% hope to see positive sales growth in 2020, down by 18% from last year.

According to the report ’tis the season for discounting and margin pressures’ as David White, national leader of Deloitte’s Retail, Wholesale & Distribution Group, identifying what has been a tough year for many retailers, with 47% experiencing flat or even negative sales growth over the past 12 months.

‘Many are also approaching this Christmas with a little less cheer, certainly compared to last year.’

And you can add the telcos to that list with the recent Mobile Consumer Survey revealing many are struggling to build a strong business case for the benefits of 5G.

A majority of respondents (83%) said they were not prepared to pay a $15 premium to operators for using 5G, currently proposed by Telstra, though not entirely ruled out by Optus (story here).

Though according to Deloitte Partner and National Telecommunications lead, Peter Corbett, ‘people simply don’t understand’.

‘Consumers should prepare to be disappointed with 5G in the short-term, as the network will experience growing pains until it is fully established which will come with small-cell deployments and the auction of mmWave in early 2021,’ suggesting that the proposed premium for 5G usage i5Gs to pay for the ‘growing pains’ much like a toll booth to the newly opened WestConnex.

Though just like WestConnex, a majority of people see it as a waste of money, or just can’t be bothered to pay the toll to use it, opting to take a long way around, i.e. 4G.

According to Mr Corbett however, there has been 5% drop in the number of people looking to 5G when it’s available, which he claims is due to a ‘period of disillusionment with the technology’ which will disappear once consumers understand ‘how 5G will improve their day-to-day lives’.

However, as more carriers and handset, manufacturers roll out 5G phones, consumers may no longer have a choice in the matter when it comes to upgrading, which Telsyte predicts will occur in 2020.

The study also identified how Australian’s use their phones, with 24% now using their mobile as their preferred device for online purchases, overtaking desktop computers for the first time, linking us back with the rise of online shopping in the face of a reduced 2019 retail period.

Though that being said, the top 3 purchases from our devices are tickets for events, travel or holiday purchases and clothing, according to Kate Huggins, a Deloitte Consulting Partner.

As we head into 2020 a lot is going to change, whether it be with the proliferation of 5G connectivity or with the fallout from the Christmas period and the subsequent and continual rise of online shopping, just like 5G, we’re not ready for it.

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