It is predicted by IBIS World that revenue to Australian online retailers is expected to increase to $10 billion over the next 5 years. Currently, online retailing makes up about 5-6% of total sales in Australia, compared to about 12 percent in the US. This trend drove the recent news that Australia Post is planning major changes to its service to support this growing demand including 24 hour pick-up lockers, international product tracking and an increased focus on small to medium businesses.
For a market like Australia that historically has had less buying power than other, more populous nations, online retailing has given local consumers more choice. This choice manifests both in product selections and what consumers are willing to pay. Overseas retailers like Nordstrom.com out of the US or Wiggle.co.uk from the UK have already taken advantage of the needs of the savvy online Aussie shopper and the strength of the Australian dollar by providing discounted shipping, pricing and transactions available in local currency and easy return policies.
Some iconic historic Australian retailers have resisted or fought this trend,but there is no question that online retail is here. The only question left is who’s going to make the most of it? Seeing an organisation like Australia Post building new processes and systems just increases the opportunity for business both locally and abroad, and no doubt there is room for innovation and creativity. Consumers are speaking with their wallets – if retailers aren’t already listening to them directly, they will need to soon.