A survey from SLI Systems suggests that half of Australia’s leading retail brands believe the industry has become more competitive, as international entrants have stepped into the country and diluted the market share.
The survey, conducted at e-commerce summit SLI Connect held in Sydney last night, examines the likely trends, challenges and opportunities e-commerce brands can expect to face over the next twelve months, and found a number of measures Aussie online retailers had taken recently were triggered in response to international rivals entering the market.
The research found that:
- 67 percent had ensure their site was mobile- and tablet-friendly
- 50 percent had upgraded their e-commerce platform
- 38 percent had begun offering free shipping
- 21 per cent had commenced cross-border trade
“The results show local retailers are concerned by the increased willingness of Australian shoppers to interact with international retailers,” commented Mark Brixton, Regional Vice President for SLI Systems. “Successful retailers can offer the customer the same value, benefits and service options whether they’re shopping on a PC, in-store or on their mobile.
“International retailers are already doing a great job at this; the local brands that get this right will make a compelling case for Australians to shop closer to home.”
The results from the survey show that over half are already making ground, having dedicated this year on developing their omnichannel experience. In a further clear depiction of retailers’ priorities, over 95 percent of retailers considered e-commerce to be an effective channel for driving sales conversion, compared to 46 percent saying the same for bricks and mortar.
“Your bricks and mortar store and your online store should be a joint force and not another source of competition,” added Duncan Brett, General Manager of E-Commerce at Bras N Things. “The integration of the online and offline customer experience is fundamental to our business. In order to remain competitive, we focus on creating a seamless and positive customer experience. The survey results show we’re not the only ones.”
Another key focus will be developing a website’s search capabilities; 96 percent of surveyed retailers claimed to recognise the correlation between conversion and effective site-search, and a further 71 percent claimed that improving their site search capabilities would be a key business priority this year, with features such as the ability to auto-complete, account for spelling errors, and generate reports on search terms.
“Our survey found almost 80 percent of retailers already have some level of sophistication in their site search capability. It’s encouraging to see that so many businesses are leveraging the power of site-search to drive conversion rates for their business,” Brixton said.