New research reveals what customers really want

Posted .

A new survey of 6,000 visitors to inner-Sydney is set to give local businesses a rare insight into the buying habits of residents and local and international visitors.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said for the first time, the City of Sydney had produced an in-depth survey of visitor experiences in inner-city neighbourhoods, including the CBD, Potts Point, Surry Hills and Newtown.

The results reveal who is visiting where, how much they are spending, the purpose of their visit, what they think about the area and how satisfied they were with their visit.

The survey has revealed widespread support for later trading hours and more diverse entertainment options.

The data will be used by businesses looking to provide the services customers are looking for at the right time, as well as information on how to capitalise on peak visitor times and how to best engage with consumers.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the visitor behaviour research would support local businesses to make informed decisions, attract more customers and grow their businesses and local economy.

“This survey gives us an in-depth understanding of what customers want from businesses in our city and enables us to share this information with the businesses who will benefit most,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our economy relies on a thriving local business sector and satisfied residents and tourists.

“We also heard loud and clear that people want more late night shopping options, which we will take on board in our ongoing work to diversify the city’s night-time economy.”

There were 11 precincts involved in the research conducted from April to June as well as October 2017.

The visitor surveys were carried out on Wednesdays and Saturdays to gauge behavioural differences between the working week and the weekend in each location. It is also the first time Green Square was included in a survey of this scale.

Key findings of the survey include:

Social and leisure activities the overriding reason for visiting an area The research found that eating out and drinking coffee were the most common activities across all neighbourhoods for visitors of all ages and social backgrounds, no matter where they had travelled from.

Online searches, websites and social media are critical for engaging with consumers The survey showed three out of four visitors went online to help decide where to visit and what to do, while only half of all visitors rely on word of mouth.

Night time shopping a key opportunity More than one in five night-time visitors said they would like to see more shops open later.

Desire for more entertainment and culture Culture and entertainment were consistently identified as offerings that would make a visit more enjoyable across most precincts, especially by Sydney residents.

Positive levels of satisfaction seen across the city On average 58 per cent of people said they were completely satisfied with their experience in each area. Analysis suggests the range of dining and food options and areas being “inviting” and “safe” were key factors driving these positive results

International visitors are highly satisfied The majority of overseas visitors found inner-Sydney inviting and safe.

The report also provides a detailed breakdown of the research findings arranged by the 11 village centres. This data will further help businesses build on the entertainment, shopping and dining offerings in their local precinct.

The City has recently appointed a panel of 15 experts from the hospitality, live music and performance, theatre, festivals, retail, business and public safety sectors to provide advice on how it can best work with industry, business and other government agencies to support a thriving, diverse and safe night-time economy.

Proposed reforms include allowing shops to trade later, encouraging more small-scale cultural activities and more diverse creative activity late at night.

The full visitor survey report and precinct scorecards are available of the City of Sydney’s website

For media inquiries or images, contact Belinda Wallis. Phone 0467 810 160 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Julia Lenton. Phone 0410 748 039 or email

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