CE & IT Retailers Set To Be Stripped Of Customers

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Consumer electronics and high end Hi Fi retailers who don’t have online shopping operations are in for a tough 2011, according to new research which reveals that Internet shopping is set to double this year.Research conducted by SmartHouse reveals that 68% of consumers are more likely to shop for Hi Fi and consumer electronic goods from overseas sites this year because of the “heightened” awareness given to online shopping by the recent media campaign initiated by retailers in Australia, who want the Federal Government to impose a 10% GST on goods purchased from overseas web sites.

45% said that they had never purchased online but were prepared to “try It” in 2011.

Of those that had shopped online 84% said that they would continue shopping online via overseas web sites because of “price differences” and “good service” offered by overseas web sites.

Forrester Research said recently that online shopping in Australia via Australian web sites is set to grow from $16.5 Billion in 2010 to $33 Billion by 2015.

Forrester Analyst Steven Noble believes that online shopping is “inevitable” in Australia and that consumer will not necessarily stay loyal to major brand stores.

He believes that online presents opportunities for smaller retailers who are able to offer service and support to their Australian customers.

Noble said that traditional retailers would benefit more from upgrading or investing in new online operations.

Earlier this month I walked into a Banana Republic store in the USA, when I presented my Australian credit card the assistant said: “Mr Richards we have your details on record. Do you realise that we are now shipping to Australia. I am sending to your email address, a link for several deals we are doing this month that can be shipped to Australia.”

Not only was I impressed with their marketing the deals they offered were excellent.

In Australia big retailers like Dick Smith, BigW, JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman are failing to capture consumer data when they shop unlike US and UK stores who go out of their way to capture data even if it is only an email address.

Forrester Research claims that 20% of all Internet purchases in Australia in 2011 were for consumer electronics, 32% books & music and the rest clothes and accessories.

Noble said that it was “inevitable over time” that large vendors like Sony would move to offering goods online in competition with mass retailers. He also said that the introduction of the NBN broadband network would also take business away from retailers in particular department stores as more consumers moved online to shop.

Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio in Sydney is currently scoping a new transaction web site that will allow him to compete with the mass retailers. “We have an excellent brand name and a reputation for service. We believe this is critical when offering a service online. We are currently working with our online designers to deliver an online trading capability”.

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