Online shops opportunity for retailers

Online shops opportunity for retailers

By , May 30 in blog with 0 comments

shopping cart thumb Online shops opportunity for retailersAustralian retailers should be more imaginative if they want to dominate the online shopping landscape like their international counterparts, Sue Morphet says.

The Pacific Brands chief executive officer told a Brisbane business lunch on Thursday that online shopping was both a threat and an opportunity.

It’s just a matter of attitude, she said.

Comercial survival was in the hands of Australian retailers who had to embrace the online world, she said.

Ms Morphet said seven of the top 10 online retailers in the US were also bricks and mortar stores and it was a similar story in the UK.

‘In the US stores like Walmart, Staples, Sears and Best Buy and in the UK Tesco, Marks and Spencer are in the top 10 online stores,’ Ms Morphet said.

‘In Australia we don’t have any bricks and mortar retail stores in the top 10 online stores, none at all – we have eBay, Amazon, Deals Direct,’ she said.

‘Many of the successful online retailers can continue to have their bricks and mortar presence… but we need to understand this whole phenomena and move with it.

‘People shop for experiences not just for purchasing goods.’

She contrasted the success of boutique bookstores with the failure of other major book retailers as the industry faces an online squeeze.

‘The ones that do more than just price will be the ones that succeed,’ she said.

‘What we are seeing now is a consumer who shops on price or on quality, they will shop for the number one brand or the price point offer.

‘In order for us to justify the value of our brands our product has to be innovative, it has to have high quality and be very engaging in the needs, wants and emotions of the shopping public.’

Ms Morphet said recent calls for online stores to pay GST was unhelpful and energy should be focused on thinking of clever ways to appeal to customers.

‘Where the recommendation to buy used to come from traditional advertising or the sales person in the store, now it’s coming from social networks,’ she said.

‘Bonds has 60,000 Facebook fans.

‘Customers have always been able to go down the street and seek a better price … (but the) street is a whole lot longer and a whole lot easier to navigate.

‘We need to be frank, the problem is not the lack of a 10 per cent GST.

‘Retailers have to be offering excellent range, excellent value and excellent service, if you’re not doing that customers will go elsewhere and the internet as made it easier for them to do so.’

She says retailers need to think about how they pitch brands, use social networking marketing to communicate and satisfy customers.

Ms Morphet explained how innovative thinking saw a 1000 per cent increase for pillow sales when Pacific Brands launched its Tontine date-stamped pillows last year.

‘Innovation is what we need to redefine our categories,’ she said.

‘People have been buying white pillows for a hundred years … but this (result) was unbelievable,’ she said.


About the author

 Online shops opportunity for retailers Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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