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Australian online catalogue aggregator Lasoo has doubled its audience in the last year, reporting a record high 5.6 million product views in December.

Lasoo, which allows consumers to window shop and compare prices online, revealed that 257.8 products were viewed on Lasoo every second, in the three months leading up to Christmas. While more than 2 million Lasoo visitors acknowledged visiting a physical store following their Lasoo research and 75 per cent made a purchase.

A key shift in viewer’s online retail browsing habits is that they now like to do on the small screen. Fifteen million catalogue pages were viewed on mobile devices during the Christmas season, with the screen of choice going to the iPhone followed by the iPad, Android App and Windows 7 devices. Lasoo anticipates that demand for mobile retail information will continue to grow in 2011 and that mobile devices will be a weapon of choice in pre-shop research.

The spike in traffic was driven by the strong Australian dollar which drove Australia shoppers to offshore retail sites in droves.

Forrester Research forecasts that Australian online retail sales are set to almost double from A$16.9bn in 2009 to A$33.3bn in 2015.

Lasoo Executive General Manager Paul Marshall says however that online sales transactions represent a small percentage of total retail sales. “Online research influenced 50 per cent of sales that occurred in Australia’s bricks-and-mortar retail stores. So the big prize still remains, with a strong focus on reaching and influencing the shopper who is online. Both online marketing and online commerce need to be part of a retailer’s multichannel strategy,” he said. ®

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