Australian Businesses: Winning on eBay

eBay today joins with the government, Australia Post and the Australian Retailers Association in launching the third annual Online Business Index, a major study of eBay’s top 3000 Australian sellers.

Following on the heels of strong growth in 2011, nearly two-thirds of eBay’s biggest sellers are optimistic about the year ahead, according to the Online Business Index (OBI). The 2012 OBI reveals that the top 2,000 Australian eBay sellers grew revenue by 45 percent, while the top 3,000 increased staffing levels by 20 percent from the previous year.

Nearly 160 Australian businesses cleared $1 million or more in eBay sales, up 31 percent from last year.

Many of these businesses are keen to harness the power of mobile commerce, but are restricted by a lack of technical knowledge or infrastructure in order to implement mobile sales operations. Roughly seven out of 10 of the top 3,000 eBay sellers said mobile commerce will play an important role in their future business strategy. One in six said they don’t yet know how they’ll invest in mobile commerce, while 40 percent said they lack the knowledge to make informed decisions on mobile commerce investments.

The report also found:

  • 28% cited slow mobile internet speeds, 24% cited unreliable coverage and 21% cites prohibitive costs as the major barriers to growing a mobile commerce business.
  • 61% said 2012 will be the first year they invest in mobile commerce
  • 46% said they intend to optimise web content for mobile, 24% said they will develop a mobile website and 21% said they would develop a mobile app.

Deborah Sharkey, Vice President of eBay, is heading the launch of the 2012 OBI in Sydney alongside The Hon. David Bradbury MP, Assistant Treasurer, executives from Australia Post, the Australian Retailers Association and international fashion retailer Supré.

“Retailers on eBay were some of the first to recognise the growth opportunities of online retail and have continued to innovate, adapt and integrate multi-channel business models to stay ahead of their competitors,” said Sharkey in a press release.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association is impressed by the number of “good retailers” that are innovating and integrating across various spaces.

“While having a presence in the e-commerce and mobile market is a growth opportunity in itself, it’s also a necessity to ensure the shopping experience is seamless and integrated across the many channels Australians are now conducting their business,” Zimmerman said.

“The OBI is an essential indicator of the challenges in educating business owners about the incredible opportunities available in the online space.”

You can download the full 2012 OBI report here.

Seeking more information on how to get an online retail venture off to a flying start? See our complete A-Z guide, Power Up: The Online Retail Entrepreneur’s Guide.

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