More retail competition comes online as DoorOne.com.au launches

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Online shopping is on the rise in Australia with 5.8 million Australians now buying products over the internet, according to new online comparison shopping website DoorOne.com.au, which launched last week with over 300 retailers in its portfolio.

Like the Australian Shopping.com site introduced in May, DoorOne is owned by eBay and enables consumers to compare prices on products from a variety of retail outlets, including consumer electronics retailers like Dick Smith PowerHouse and Apple.

However, the DoorOne site is larger than Shopping.com with around 600,000 products available from over 300 retailers – 90 per cent of which are based in Australia.

DoorOne and Shopping.com country manager, Shaun Cornelius, says this year has seen more than 600,000 new Australian online shoppers, partly because shopping at a retail store is time consuming.

According a Newspoll survey comissioned by DoorOne, city workers in particular represent a significant opportunity for online retailing, with 80 per cent claiming they would rather spend time with their families than go shopping on the weekend.

“What we are seeing is an expansion of online shopping; it is becoming more mainstream, and it is becoming more relevant as consumers become more time poor,” Cornelius told Current.com.au.

Cornelius claims the May launch of the Australian Shopping.com was a success, with the site now receiving around 500,000 individual hits a month.

But while the DoorOne website may be welcomed by Australian consumers, suppliers and retailers could consider the emphasis on price shopping damaging to profitability in the electrical retail industry.

However, Cornelius dismissed talk of detrimental effects for suppliers and retailers.

“In my view it is encouraging people to buy more, and suppliers may increase the distribution of their products. We have had a lot of positive feedback from retailers, and we haven’t heard anything negative for suppliers,” he said.

Cornelius said DoorOne would "love to work with Harvey Norman" and other major independent electrical retailers, but they need to get their online stores sorted out first.

“Some of them [independent electrical retailers] don’t sell online, and the key criteria for us is that they are selling online from end to end. Some retail sites just provide a catalogue of their products, but it is up to the consumer to find a store and go there to buy the product. We have signed up more retailers in the last few months, we now have 300 which is great, but there is a lot more potential going forward.

“Trust is really important in Australia, and the branded retailers do well because they have an established brand and reputation. We would love to see more of these branded retailers establish online stores.”

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