Date: June 16 2012
AUSTRALIAN customers are using the internet to shop in the millions but tens of thousands of Australian businesses have no web presence, endangering the future of their business, according to Savills Australia.
Savills' Victorian retail director, Jeremy Marmur, said Australia Post would open a 24/7 online services superstore in Bourke Street based on research that showed more than 10 million Australians were now using the internet for shopping. ''But … shoppers have little choice if they shop online because a lot of Australian firms are simply not there,'' he said, citing research by MYOB and others.
The research showed:
■64 per cent of Australian small to medium businesses don't have a website. - MYOB
■Australia leads the world in the use of smartphones (52 per cent) as in-store/internet shopping devices.
- Ispos Media
■Online shopping accounts for almost a fifth of all purchases in developed markets and is growing between 15 and 20 per cent per annum.
- Goodman Group
■Amazon.com spent close to $3 billion on technology and content costs last year.
Mr Marmur said Ispos Media research showed that young Australians, with disposable income, were some of the most internet/techno savvy in the world with PC and smartphone purchasing. ''Retailers have been too slow to become e-tailers,'' he said.
In contrast, the US department store Macy's spent 20 per cent of its total expenditure last year on the internet and warehousing. Subsequently, Macy's first quarter sales were up 4.4 per cent this year over last year on a same-store basis.
US research from Boston Consulting Group found that US businesses classified as ''high web'' had 10 per cent sales growth over the past three years, while ''medium'' and ''low web'' users experienced a 5 per cent decline.
Savills' state director retail, Michael Di Carlo, said the March MYOB Business Monitor report showed businesses with a website were more positive about the economy's future.
He said retailers could take heart from the recent RBA rate cuts, the likelihood of more cuts, the federal government's family handouts in the budget, steady employment figures and an improvement in retail sales.
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