I was hanging out with a colleague of mine the other day and a courier knocked on the door with this huge box.
I signed for the parcel and noticed it was a suspension part weighing 25kg … I also noticed that it had been shipped from the UK for his high performance sports car that he likes to race at track days.
I asked why had he bought the component from an online store from the other side of the world..the answer? … it was 40% cheaper than buying in Australia including airfrieght from Europe, saving him a not insignificant $600. (enough for a short trip to Bali).
So if you are an offline shop front retailer and you think you are just competing with another store down the road or in the next suburb then it time to adjust the thinking.
According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald Sales at online giant eBay Australia (which provides platforms for global customers to buy from retailers) have increased by 60 per in the year to April.
The other major online retailers that have benefited are Amazon in the US and the Book Depository in the UK.
Nearly one-quarter of all online sales in Australia go overseas, according to technology research group Forrester, putting the sector on track to grow 17.5 per cent to $28 billion this year.
One of the main drivers of this growth has been the strength of the Australian dollar which has risen by 33 cents against the US dollar or nearly 54 per cent in just over 12 months.
This will most probably not be a lasting trend but just indicates the growth and continuing pressure that online retail is placing on traditional retailers.
The retail brands in Australia are certainly noticing this trend and you will see more of the top brands go online in a major way during 2010 and 2011.
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