How online retail is expanding in Australia

Online retail is one of the biggest trends of today. Visiting the actual stores and going shop by shop to find your preferred product is slowly fading away and leaving its place to the online shopping experience. Everyone wants to sit at home, browse through the brand websites, pick the products of their liking, and then place an order without ever going outside.

That’s exactly what’s going on in the world and Australia doesn’t fall behind. Almost every form of retailing or service company starting from clothing stores to the slot game providers, , are increasingly going online.

In fact, according to , online purchases increased to 20.2% in 2018 and recorded double-digit growth every month. It seems that Australian retailers are really flexing their muscles here.

In this article, we’re going to see how three of the most popular online retailers handle this new transformation in the retail industry, and how they manage to satisfy customer demands by providing high-quality products, affordable prices, and fast delivery.

Urge to increase the scale

With the Internet and expanded – or rather, nullified – boundaries, companies have ever-more-prevalent incentives to increase production to meet rising demands. Be Fit Food, the dietician-designed real healthy meal company, has increased its production from 3,000 meals a week to 30,000 meals a week. “There’s a huge opportunity, with potential for 100,000 deliveries every week. So we need partners that can scale with us,” says the company’s CEO and Founder Kate Save.

The company is based in Victoria and now it ships to New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia. There are plans to expand and cover Western Australia as well.

Fashion purchases are among of the biggest driving forces of online retails, constituting 35.2% of all online purchases.

Showpo, a Sydney-based Australian online fashion retailer, is also increasing its supply; according to its Head of Operations Paul Waddy, the year to year production is growing 40 to 60%. “We now sell to over 80 countries, so we are also an export business”, says Waddy.

The importance of fast deliveries

Fast delivery is one of the biggest deciding factors in online shopping. It’s one thing to get quality products in one piece, but if delivery takes several days, it quickly loses its appeal. Australian retailers have quickly realized this and started to incorporate faster delivery methods.

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In fact, next-business-day deliveries have increased by 31.7% in Australia, and fashion purchases account for almost 62% of these retails. Showpo is partnering with to enable the same business-day delivery on subway areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide.

“How quickly we can get our orders out to our customers is super important, they want value, they want something that looks great and they want it quickly. If you can’t keep up the service levels, your customers will not come back to you,” says Waddy.

Australia’s biggest online retail store Myer is also focusing on fast deliveries. “Our customers expect a great experience, but they also want it today. We can now provide same-day delivery to 80% of the country”, says the company’s GM Omnichannel Robbie Tutt.

Fast delivery of its healthy dietician-designed food is also very important to Be It Food. “We’d love to be able to deliver within a 24-hour window. If a customer can’t get that replacement product for another four days, we know that’s just not good enough”, says Kate Save.

Variety is key

The Australia Post’s report also shows that stores that offer a variety of products, known as Variety Stores, are the biggest online shopping category. They showed year on year growth of 21.5% last year. eBay and Catch are the main marketplaces that take up 56.4% of the variety store purchases.

Myer’s GM Tutt says that the biggest Australian retail company is also focusing on incorporating variety stores on its online channel, increasing by 44% in the second quarter of 2019.

“It’s all about convenience. Customers don’t see channels, they see a brand. They expect a great experience however they interact with us. Whether that’s through social, digital, in store, or when they receive their parcel, that’s all the Myer brand,” says Tutt.

Tutt also mentions that he realizes how often people shop through multiple channels at once. That’s why he believes many of them will definitely choose Myer which will offer a variety of shops on one platform.

Be It Food also tries to expand its capabilities. According to Kate Save, “Our customers really want tracking information. Even though we’re not the delivery service, they expect a quality of service from us.”

These three Australian companies have found a key to success in the retail industry of 2019. It’s mainly based on increasing supply to meet bigger, more internationalized demands; faster delivery services; and variety stores on one single platform.


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