2013 E-Commerce Predictions Round-Up: Part Two

Last week we presented a selection of predictions for 2013 from a number of experts in our local e-commerce industry. Unfortunately we received far too many to fit into the one post – so today we’re rounding off with the remainder.

Don’t worry, we’ve saved some of the best for last.

2013 E-Commerce Expert Predictions:

  1. Overseas retailers will aggressively target Australia as a key market – If there was one thing that was really clear from the Click Frenzy event, it is the ‘big appetite’ from the Australian consumers for online shopping. All the major global players have been taking note and will now accelerate their aggressive campaigns to target the Australian consumers.
  2. Traditional retailers in Australia will embrace online retail – So far, very few traditional retailers have embraced online retail fully in terms of the technology, processes and marketing. By and large, most of the Australian retailers are only just beginning accept the need to be online and in the next year they will become more active in making a concerted effort.

— Rafi Katanasho, Application Performance Management Solutions Director, Compuware

Many e-commerce sites (large and small) will jump on the responsive design bandwagon and engage the redesign of their sites to reflect the explosion of new technology, new hardware, new browsing and news ways of purchasing.

With the purchasing power of tablet shifting to the iPad Mini, data going 4G, retina display technology and new screen sizes across all devices. Designing for e-commerce is going to get a whole lot trickier!

— Sue Cook, Director, TAOS Creative

I believe it’s possible for online retail in Australia to grow by up to 20 percent in 2013 if policy and infrastructure is put into place for both retailers and their customers.

In infrastructure terms, the NBN will be key in ensuring more Australians have better and more reliable internet access, which will bring online shopping literally to all corners of the globe.

In policy terms, the Parcel Processing Taskforce has recommended an economically beneficial plan to lower the LVIT, which will close the GST loophole associated with online overseas purchases and therefore ensure Australian retailers are on a level playing field with their online overseas counterparts.

Research shows the majority of Australians like to buy Australian, even when they’re shopping online. This is an opportunity online that Australian retailers are pursuing at a rapid rate.

Research also shows multichannel shoppers are more likely to purchase and spend as well as spend more time on the shopping process. This is not surprising given that the consumer is constantly connected and a majority have smart phones ‘at the ready’.

Events such as Click Frenzy, which saw online sales soar for many retailers, are testament to the fact that there is huge demand for multichannel shopping, and we know retailers are responding to this demand by operating in the spaces their customers are.

— Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director, Australian Retailers’ Association

The key problems that are going to face online retailers in the New Year is going to be increased competition. Not only from international retailers encroaching upon the Australian market, but also from local competition for the customer’s attention.

Online retailers will have to work smarter in order to prevent a decrease in market share. Critical to this will be the management and usefulness of customer data that they collect and combining this with intelligent analytics. It is only through increased understanding of customer needs and wants – and the ability to reach the appropriate market at the right time – that our local online retailers will be able to succeed in a highly competitive field.

— Rod Jacka, Managing Director, Panalysis

Online retailers will experience a revelation regarding the usefulness of customer intelligence data for driving increased revenue from their databases and loyal customers. This will drive a shift of budget from acquisition to loyalty and growth. Those savvy retailers who choose to explore and analyse their customer behaviour with the right kind of tools will find that they can learn a great deal on how to target their marketing messages more effectively.

Recent reports from Emailvision indicate that marketers who use customer intelligence report upwards of 30 percent increases to their email campaign open rates and up to a 60 percent increase in conversion rates. Making customer intelligence a part of your online retail marketing strategy will generate more insights that empower you to market in a more efficient, timely and relevant manner. Combined with a focus on gaining higher levels of permission, customer intelligence will drive more profit, stronger loyalty and higher customer value.

— Jeremy Glass, Managing Director, Permission

Given the huge impact that mobile commerce has been having in e-commerce, I think we’ll see more bricks and mortar retailers start to embrace e-commerce more actively, and take advantage of the unique competitive options they can offer through smarter models and mobile commerce, such as click and collect and same day shipments from stores. Conversely, I think we’ll see the mature (domestically) pureplays start to sell more aggressively in local overseas markets in an effort to maintain their high growth levels.

— Carl Hartmann, CEO, Temando

Technology has clearly been the trailblazer in online retail in Australia. For example, we were the first to proudly talk to Australians about why they should shop online, and Kogan just became Australia’s #1 online retailer (measured by objective data from Alexa.com). Fashion is starting to follow, with many Australians becoming accustomed to buying clothing through an online store. In 2013 I believe we’ll see more goods and services from a wider range of industries move online as Australian shoppers start seeing the benefits – in convenience, services, and price – of e-commerce.

You’ll also see more of the big bricks and mortar retailers attempting to move online, but they will be outplayed and outgunned by the smarter, more nimble 100% online stores.

— Ruslan Kogan, CEO, Kogan

Next year is the year that the digital industry overall will claim the respect it deserves, in particular in e-commerce.  It’ll be a case of ‘now or never’ for a lot retailers, either they step up and join the global playing field or get left behind. Retailers will advance their online offering and grow their online channels, capitalising on digital opportunities in pursuit of their customer.

I’m hopeful that competition will promote innovation over protectionism and the Australian consumer gets to benefit from world-class retail experiences stemming from local sources.

— Laura Yeomans, Country Manager, ShopStyle Australia

According to PayPal Australia, Australia’s e-commerce market is growing at a rate of 12.4% per annum, equating to a spend of $34.8 billion in 2013. I predict that, as customers have more experience of online shopping, competition will be more about overall customer engagement than it will be about price.

The more on-line shopping that customers engage in, the higher their expectations will be. Customers’ e-commerce choices will be made increasingly on the basis of service; their on-line experience, price, and, in particular, how efficiently and quickly they receive their products. 

As we enter 2013 and beyond, the successful e-commerce retailers will be those that appreciate that the customer experience does not end once they have paid their money. They will be those businesses that look beyond their website, focusing on fulfilment and the supply chain to consider the entire customer experience from first contact to when they receive the product in their hands.

— Craig Davison, Managing Director, Brumby Fulfilment Solutions

  • Google Shopping will take off in Australia, although many retailers (and the Retailers’ Association) will likely whinge about the fact that Google Shopping is changing from a free search tool to a paid listing model. At Milan Direct we are looking forward to this change and are always happy to pay for ads, as these ads are highly targeted, so are likely to convert. If you have a compelling product offering that is market-leading, your products will sell and the ads will be profitable. 
  • Only retailers who have  high margins will be complaining about this. Instead, they should work on fixing their business models, rather than whinging about paying for a great service.
  • More and more shoppers jumping online to take advantage of the massive savings brought about by more efficient business models.
  • Click Frenzy ’13 to come back with a vengeance, although with a highly tweaked model.

— Dean Ramler,  CEO, Milan Direct

In 2013 retailers will realise that mobile in e-commerce is no longer an accessory but a necessity.

Tablet shopping will dramatically increase. Results from our Netbiscuits’ recent Mobile Web Metrics report show that in October 2012, the iPad was already the second most popular device making requests on the Netbiscuits platform in Australia. Its share of traffic will continue to grow in 2013.  

Mobile offerings will begin to cater to a One Web strategy delivering the best user experience seamlessly to every device, from desktop via mobile to tablet and TV.

CRM, data and analytics are core to understanding what consumers expect. Companies need to concentrate on delivering relevant content and the best UX to all devices.

Understanding customer needs through constantly analysing the data and selecting a flexible and adaptive technology that take mobile web app and site experiences to the next level to deliver a customised feature-rich user experience on each mobile device will become the key to increasing customer engagement and response. This is an increasing challenge as the complexity of the end user device landscape increases. In Australia, only three device categories captured more than five percent share of overall traffic on the Netbiscuits platform in October 2012.

— Daniel Weisbeck, Chief Marketing Officer, Netbiscuits

 So that’s the going wisdom from those ‘in the know’, but what are your predictions for 2013? Share a tip in the comments section beneath this article.

2 thoughts on “2013 E-Commerce Predictions Round-Up: Part Two

    • Arthur D. Unga
    • 28th December

    Good article, but please spare us the shameless self-congratulatory, self-promoting Kogan when in need of an objective and insightful contribution.

  1. I agree with Jeremy Glass in that 2013 will be the year that online marketers really begin to realize the power of customer intelligence and how it can impact what’s normally seen as an “old channel” in email.


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