Australians made more purchases online even before Amazon debuted in the country, according to the National Australia Bank’s (NAB) Online Retail Sales Index.
The index registered its highest increase since December 2014, after a 4.7 per cent growth in November 2017 in seasonally adjusted terms. Amazon launched its operations in Australia a month after that.
Online Retail Purchases
NAB senior economist Brien McDonald said that most retail categories recorded higher sales in November year over year, particularly in household equipment and appliances. Consumer spending on food and beverage, entertainment, groceries and apparel rose at a faster pace than in October, according to the index.
The recent increase in sales should be an indicator for e-commerce firms and even traditional stores to use more promotional campaigns. Whether it is a PR company in Melbourne or an advertising agency in Sydney, retailers need to engage more online shoppers. This will be necessary as Amazon already contributed to a more competitive business landscape.
Whilst Amazon made it more challenging for smaller players to market their products and services, the U.S. retail giant’s arrival does not exactly spell doom for local companies, according to Jon Stine, Intel’s global head of retail.
However, he said that Australian retailers need to keep up with changing consumer preferences on shopping, or risk being left behind. Brick-and-mortar shops need to acknowledge that more Australians are considering online shopping. This is particularly true for younger shoppers.
Online retail continues to redefine how Australians buy products and services, which begs the question of whether conventional retailers are open to cope with this change. Amazon may be hurting some businesses, but the indecision to consider online solutions could cause even bigger losses. Entrepreneurs must embrace change and consider setting up an online shop to make shopping more convenient for consumers.