(MENAFN Press) (EMAILWIRE.COM, December 19, 2012 ) San Francisco --
The Lew household must have had white-knuckles, dealing with the fact that over the weekend the sworn enemy of the Solomon's (the internet itself) ripped more of Australia's cash from his once monumental grip.
The largest online shopping finished over the weekend with half-a-million purchases being handled as shoppers warmed to the overseas sites and companies in the lead-up to the Christmas season.
It appears that Aussie shoppers have become more and more comfortable foregoing the Australian-owned sites and companies, as they search for the very best deals for the holiday season. That means that Lew is rightfully worried about the future of his shares in the holiday-purchasing totals.
It had been the standard that Australians were forced to handle high prices that were set by the major retailers of Australia; however, the use of online retail has now exposed the price differences between domestic and international companies. Thus, the appeal of shopping at Australian-owned businesses continues to be on a downslope, as more and more people move to the companies with the best prices, which are often not Aussie companies.
In a study done by Ernst & Young, 46% of Australian's put no weight into whether or not a site is Australian or International. Instead, the cost of the good is first-and-foremost on the minds of the consumer. Forty-seven percent of Australians state the most important factor is the price of a good when they are deciding on a product. A mere 24% of consumers believe Australian ownership is the primary concern. The phrase Australian made simply does not hold the same weight that it use to in the eyes of the purchasing public.
Part of the reason is likely due to the fact that many are still purchasing with constrained incomes.
Ernst & Young stated that 35% of shopping by Australians will be done online, and much of that will be with offshore retailers. A study finished earlier in the year noted that nearly 80% of online sales were from overseas.
It is clear that if Australian retail stores are to survive the downslope of their purchases, they must find ways to adapt and improve their services. Consumers can buy a book for 18 off Amazon, rather than 30 from an Australian site. A consumer need not wait longer for a good from an Australian site, when quite often it can be retained from the UK faster.
With the ever-widening options of companies, consumers can be more ruthless than ever before. By catering to consumers more, instead of gouging them and taking them for granted, Australian retailers can at least hope for some return to good standing and higher profit shares of online purchasing.