eCommerce is slow to launch in Australia

Right on cue (after the last post graphically showing the lack of a non-Trade Me eCommerce industry) comes a quote from the head of eBay Australia lamenting the same issue in Australia:

eBay Tells Retailers To Focus On Online Operations

“Major Australian retailers are falling behind their counterparts in other markets in the area of using the internet to boost sales. Simon Smith, eBay Australia’s MD, said the country’s largest retail operators had failed to embrace the internet the way comparable companies in the US and UK had, saying “I think they feel protected by the fact that 70% of Australians live within half-an-hour of a Westfield and that most Australian retailers tend to be national retailers.”

Same symptom here in New Zealand perhaps, along with the lousy boradband and lack of critical mass for market size.

“According to recent research from research firm Forrester, Internet sales represented only 9% of all non-grocery retail spending in Australia in 2006.

That’s a huge number – equivalent to NZ$3 to $4.7 billion in New Zealand terms (depending upon whether you call Motor vehicle retailing “retail spending” or not). Even given that AirNZ will do $1bn of spend, we would fall well short of those numbers.

eBay now claims five million Australian members from a worldwide base of 220 million users.”

While Trade Me has 1.66m active members, or about 40.5% of the NZ population – versus under 24% for the eBay Australia equivalent.

Published by Lance Wiggs


3 replies on “eCommerce is slow to launch in Australia”

  1. The mood within business both in Australia and NZ is no different to the mood hat businesses had in UK and USA back when they first started to really be able to use the internet. It will be a slow process but businesses will come to realise how important online delivery is. I saw the exact same thing in the UK and 6 years later they are roaring along.

    Why is it a slow process? In my opinion a number of reasons. Broadband/Connection costs/population density/lack of knowledge/trade policies etc

    Things will change but it will take 2 years. You can see it happening now slowly in NZ with more and more businesses actually having a web address and promoting it in their advertising.

    Biggest mistake NZ businesses and Australian ones can do though is ignore the internet and the impact it can have on their business in the future.

    my 2 cents.


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