Rob Wong, chair of the AIMIA Retail Industry Group and managing director of CC Media iNC Network, said: "This year's research shows, as expected, growing adoption rates across the board for interactive, digital and e-tail services as retailers reorganise resources to focus more attention on the digital consumer, but also highlights the internal resourcing and culture barriers that are hampering more rapid successful implementation.
"Savvy retailers are looking to recruit multi-channel directors and managers, and create cross functional teams to grow their online business and presence.
"Eighty three per cent of retailers will spend more in online in the next three years – there is clear evidence from this study that retailers will be spending more on capital development as well as marketing. Email marketing, SEO and online catalogues are considered to be the most important tools for advertising and promotion in 2012/13."
Online sales generally remain low as a percentage of overall sales, less than five percent, the report said. "However smaller retailers are recording a much higher e-tail sales share. Thirty three percent of retailers with 100+ stores do not know how much online sales contribute to their total sales revenue, which suggests it is not significant."
It added: "Savvy retailers [are] looking to recruit multichannel directors/managers, and attempting to create cross-functional teams. Sometimes, a stand-alone unit had been created within the organisation [but] often the structure remained within the marketing team. However this is shifting, as more retailers manage their online strategy across multiple departments."
The research also found that 26 percent of retailers rely on agencies, and 31 percent use external technical support.
The study, published annually, is facilitated by AIMIA in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Retail Studies and is supported by Multimedia Victoria, INC Media and Reactive Media.