By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: The 2010 spike in interest in online retailing has pressured high street retailers into action, but JB Hi-Fi is already there as the best positioned Australian retailer to profit, said Rob Blythe, consumer analyst at Macquarie Securities Group.

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“Domestic retailers have been slow to the game, however JB Hi-Fi are one of the best established, multi channel offers in Australia,” said Blythe in a report titled ‘JB Hi-Fi: Early adopter in a laggard market’.

According to the report, Experian Hitwise recently named JB Hi-Fi as the second most frequented Australian retailer with 9.5 million hits in the 9 weeks ending 1 Jan 2011, second only to Apple which had 10.8 million hits. What’s more, this represents more hits than the combination of consumer electronic competitors Harvey Norman, Dick Smith and Kogan together (with 4.6 million, 4.1 million and 0.5 million hits respectively).

“The trade has frequently pointed out that JB Hi-Fi are one of the few Australian retailers to think and plan about the future. While many domestic retailers have only launched e-commerce enabled websites in the past 12 months, JB Hi-Fi have operated one since 2006 and have steadily evolved their offer.

“Most recently, the two essential elements besides price that successful websites use to increase preferred online merchant share are offering free delivery on all sales and an easy-to-transact website. JB Hi-Fi introduced both of these to its online offer, driving a 35 per cent uplift in sales in the first half of 2011.”