AUSTRALIANS are expected to spend an extra $10 billion buying goods online in the next two years.
Faster internet speeds and an influx of smartphones have made online shopping easier and increasingly popular.
Major retailers hit back last week by launching a $200,000 campaign to lobby the Federal Government to apply the GST and import duties to foreign online retailers.
At present, online purchases of less than $1000 from foreign sellers are exempt from GST and import duty. Research for e-commerce business PayPal Australia predicted Australians would be spending $36.8 billion online by 2013, compared with $26.8 billion last year. Experts predicted the surge in online shoppers would continue, spurred on by the roll-out of the national broadband network. “If you are an Australian retailer that does not have an online store today, you are not meeting the demands of the retailer,” PayPal spokesman Adrian Christie said. “In Australia, we are still seeing retailers with small inventories online and bigger inventories in-store.”
Though Australians’ enthusiasm for online shopping has lagged far behind the US and the UK, Telstra research showed a quarter of smartphone users on the Telstra network used their mobile phones to shop online. This had been aided by the roll-out of online shopping phone applications. The trend saw more than 80,000 Australians use their mobile phones to make an eBay purchase last financial year, eBay research showed. Online shopping represented only 3.6 per cent of all retailing in Australia, research firm IBISWorld said, but was growing twice as fast as traditional retailing. Marketing experts said the major retailers’ campaign might have backfired. University of New South Wales marketing professor Mark Uncles said the campaign had signalled to people who were previously wary of shopping online that it was safe. “What this advertising campaign is saying is that they (consumers) are not only using it, but using it without any difficulty whatsoever,” he said. The campaign also met with an unsympathetic response from Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten who said imposing a tax was not the best way for major retailers to compete with online rivals.
HARDWARE retailer Bunnings have paid a high price after letting the domain name hardware.com.au to lapse, allowing competitor Woolworths to snap it up at auction.
Woolworths swooped and paid $33,333 for the expired domain name previously owned by Bunnings.
WOOLWORTHS paid $33,333 for an expired domain name previously owned by rival Bunnings at an auction on Sunday.
The hardware.com.au address had been registered to Bunnings Building Supplies Pty Ltd before the registration lapsed.
“We are happy to have paid the $33,333 for the domain name as home improvement is a big growth platform for us,” spokeswoman for Woolworths Clare Buchanan said.
“If our competitors were happy to give it up [the name] we’re very happy to have it.”
Woolworths moved into competition with the hardware chain in 2009.
David Whittle, the managing director of M&C Saatchi, is the registrant of the name. Saatchi are advertisers for Woolworths.
It is speculated that Bunnings forgot to renew its registration with the email address for Rob Farrimond – the registrant for Bunnings Building Supplies Pty Ltd, the owner of the domain name – no longer being active.
Director of Cooper Mills, lawyers who specialise in IT&T, Erhan Karabardak said: “Companies do not always value their intellectual property.”
There are two “drop” services that have auctions in Australia one of which, drop.com.au held the auction for the name.
CooperMills Lawyers in a blog on their website said: “Values of .au names have increased dramatically over the past 12 months, however, many investors are still reluctant to invest money in .au due to heavy regulation, some of which amounts to censorship of content.”
“This is the first I’ve heard of it, I didn’t know. I’m completely in the dark,” a spokesman for Wesfarmers, the owner of Bunnings said. A spokesperson for Bunnings was unable to respond before publication.
Bidding for the name was “spirited” according to an industry insider. Herald Sun Thursday December 16 2010
Mobile Buying Spree
Mobile phone users are dumping pen and paper shopping lists and buying with their handsets in the latest retail craze. The newest type of shopping to sweep the globe is set to drive annual salesof $119 billion worldwide by 2015, a report reveals. Consumers can already order goods ranging from pizzas to digital cameras, nappies, and even football jumpers with the touch of a phone button.
Others are using handsets to direct them to the nearest supermarket, bank or fast-food outlet while on the road, or to check recipes before grabbing groceries on the run.
Retail analysts said most Aussies were using smart phone handsets connected to the internet to search for products and best deals or to find store locations before hitting the shops to buy.
But an ABI Research report is predicting a boom in actual buying in future years as more consumers upgrade their handsets and companies make online shopping services more quickly and easilyassessable with phone as well as computers. Pizza chain Domino’s say a new iPhone application that lets users order its food over their handsets has generated sales of 2 million in just 12 weeks.
And since October 2009, 110,000 iPhone users have downloaded an application that lets you find you’re nearest Coles supermarket, create electronic shopping lists through links to recipes or select various groceries from a virtual home. Coles IT general manager said there were plans to add weekly catalogue products. The company is also investigating a system to share electronic shoppinglists with family and friends. The ability to make shopping as convenient as possible is motivation. Rival Woolworths recently introduced special websites for mobile phone users with internet access.
The sites are called up with a handset and give selected information including store location, specials and recipes. Broader mobile shopping potential would be monitored as connection speeds and reception improved.
Herald Sun – Monday Feb 22-2010
Online Retail Spending Grew By 10% In Q1 Over Last Year
comScore, Inc.(NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its Q1 2010 U.S. retail e-commerce sales estimates, which showed that online retail spending neared $34 billion for the quarter, up 10 percent versus year ago. The strong acceleration represented the first time growth rates reached double-digits since the second quarter of 2008.
“The first quarter returned the U.S. retail e-commerce market to healthy double-digit growth rates,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “While these spending gains provide reason for optimism, we should note that upper-income households are currently shouldering much of the growth. Should the economy falter in the second half of the year and upper-income consumers return to a savings mode, we could still see growth decelerate? But for the time being, this momentum is encouraging.”
Other highlights from Q1 include:
- Growth in the first quarter was predominantly driven by upper-income consumers, with spending among the $100,000+ household income segment up 14 percent.
- Pureplay (online-only) retailers continued to gain e-commerce spending market share from multichannel retailers.
- Larger online retailers continued to generate higher growth rates than smaller retailers, but the smaller retailers are finally beginning to see positive growth once again.