Online retailers invest in technology in hope of 30 per cent sales growth

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Australia's small online retailers are growing quickly, selling internationally, and performing well, according to a report released today by Forrester Research.

According to the study, Australian online retailers expect their sales to grow by 30 per cent in the year ahead, far surpassing the three per cent growth the International Monetary Fund predicts for Australia’s economy as a whole.

The Online Retailing in Australia 2010 report surveyed 334 online retail professionals and found that two thirds of merchants planned to invest in electronic commerce technology in the following year, identifying it as a key platform.

Almost half of the respondents in the survey said that multiple product images had had the greatest impact on driving sales.

Meanwhile, a Frost and Sullivan report issued in last month suggested Australia’s underdeveloped consumer electronic commerce market is due to the lack of an online presence by large retail chains such as Harvey Norman and the Good Guys, as reported by Current.com.au in July.

The Frost and Sullivan report found that Australia trails behind the United Kingdom and United States by three years, with an estimated 40 per cent of online shopping being lost to overseas sites.

Furthermore, online spending accounts for only three per cent of total retail sales. The expenditure for tangible goods in 2010 is forecast to reach $12 billion, and room for growth is apparent with spending expected to reach $17.7 billion over the next four years.

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