Australian Retailers are Getting Left Behind

While 2012 was predicted to be a great year for local businesses to move online, recent research reveals that most haven’t. In fact, they don’t even plan to.

Over the last few years, Australia has become known as a nation of online laggards. Businesses have been painfully slow to take to the digital environment and it appears that this may not change anytime soon.

According to a recent report from Experian, the majority of Australian retailers haven’t developed an online sales channel and many of those haven’t even got a strategy to develop one. The report also highlights the fact that even for the local retailers that are online, their technological capabilities still lag significantly behind their offshore counterparts.

However, the report also acknowledges that online has had a marked impact on the retail industry in Australia, even if it hasn’t been adopted to the same extent as overseas. This change is largely driven by the combination of technological advancements and shifts in consumer behaviour.

It’s apparent Australia’s retail industry has reached a tipping point. Changing consumer behaviour coupled with tough economic times and shrinking profits is forcing a re-think in how retailers operate.

Key Statistics:

  • 53% of Australian retailers don’t have any ability to transact online, with 44% not planning to implement this functionality in the coming months
  • 62% don’t have a Facebook page, 54% don’t use Twitter and 72% have no interest in using Pinterest
  • 21% of retailers currently offer loyalty programs via their website, with 25% planning to introduce these features in the next year

Overall, the report seems to point towards Australia not only having a two-speed economy, but also a two-speed retail sector. Unfortunately, the majority of retailers remain in the slow lane when it comes to the adoption of new technologies.

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