Archive for October, 2013

Australian online retailers more likely to hire staff in the next year

Friday, October 11th, 2013
Photo credit; Ben Tesch on Flickr

Photo credit; Ben Tesch on Flickr

Online retailers in Australia are more likely to hire staff than traditional bricks and mortar store owners, a Roy Morgan survey shows.

The survey reveals that 16% of online businesses are expecting to increase their staff in the next year compared to just 9% of physical store-based owners.

“With just over half of the Australian population now purchasing online it is not surprising that online retailers are much more likely than bricks and mortar retailers to be planning to increase employee numbers over the next 12 months,” Roy Morgan’s Norman Morris said.

Market researcher Roy Morgan surveyed more than 6,900 Australian businesses in the six months to the end of July for the survey.

Online sales make up 10 per cent of Australian consumer sales, but that figure is growing.

To read more about this story, click here.

Viagogo launches in Australia

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Swiss ticket reselling marketplace Viagogo has officially launched in Australia after running a nine month beta program in the country.

Photo credit; Bev Sykes on Flickr

Photo credit; Bev Sykes on Flickr

Originally launched in Switzerland in 2006, the firm specialises in the resale and distribution of tickets for events. It aims to serve as a fair and secure marketplace solely for tickets, stealing traction away from more general e-commerce sites like eBay and Gumtree.

Founder and CEO of Viagogo, Eric Baker said the company had always aimed to launch in Australia and it even registered a Facebook page called ‘Viagogo Australia’ back in December 2010.

“We want to ultimately be global, we want to be everywhere. If and when people colonise the moon, we want to be on the moon,” Mr Baker told Technology Spectator.

“If there were an opportunity for us to register a Facebook lunar page now, we should probably be looking into that,” he said.

To read more about this story, click here.

Australia Business Review gives an overview of hurdles for Australia startups

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The Australia Business Review has revealed the top three hurdles for small businesses in Australia to overcome to be successful.

Photo credit; Tristan Honscheid on Flickr

Photo credit; Tristan Honscheid on Flickr

1. In top spot is the challenge of cash flow and getting the necessary cash injection to start a business. Banks are less willing to invest in small businesses nowadays so it’s important to manage resources responsibly.

2. Navigating the Australia Tax Office (ATO) is the second most common hurdle for small businesses. Discrepancies that result from honest mistakes, and failure to comply with the many tax regulations can all lead to small businesses falling foul of the ATO.

Under current Fringe Benefits Tax laws, a company can find the ATO looking at it disapprovingly if it spends too much on an employee social gathering, while different types of tax have different tax years, leading to a lot of paperwork and confusion.

Thorough and meticulous bookkeeping and some time spent reading and grasping all the regulations are necessary navigate the ATO.

3. And, lastly, the Carbon Tax can be a pain for new businesses, especially those wanting to do their own production.

Under the scheme, companies considered as top polluters must pay a fee per tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere.

In addition to businesses that have a production arm, it also affects small businesses in terms of the rising cost of the supplies they need.

The carbon tax will be scrapped eventually, but it will be replaced by an emissions trading scheme. New start-ups will need to keep an eye on that, and allow for its effects upon their running costs.

To read more on this story, click here.

WooCommerce presents Zapier integration

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Photo credit; Newtown grafitti on Flickr

Photo credit; Newtown grafitti on Flickr

Last month, WooCommerce announced that it had officially integrated the platform with Zapier, a service that makes automated updates for you.

The WooCommerce Zapier extension includes triggers that can be set up to send new (paid) orders to Zapier or when an order changes status. From there, you have many possibilities for automation.

The combination of a trigger and an action, on Zapier, is referred to as a “Zap”. Each time a zap is triggered, this is referred to as a “Task”.

Here is an example of some of the things you can do with Zapier in WooCommerce:

  • Create a new Xero invoice for new WooCommerce orders.
  • Create a new Contact in Xero when WooCommerce orders are paid for.
  • Create a new Freshbooks Client from a new WooCommerce Order.
  • Add a new row to a Google Docs spreadsheet when a WooCommerce New Order is received and paid for.
  • Send a notification email via your Gmail service when a WooCommerce New Order is received.
  • Send an email notification when a WooCommerce order changes status. Combine this with a custom filter if you want to limit the email to a specific status, for example, when an order status changes to refunded
  • Add a Highrise Comment when a WooCommerce Order changes status
  • Adds your paying WooCommerce customers to your MailChimp mailing list
  • WooCommerce New Order to Campaign Monitor List
  • Append a new line to a CSV file in a Drobpox folder when WooCommerce New Orders are received.
  • Send your customer an SMS notification whenever their order’s status changes.
  • Send your customer an SMS notification when their order has been received and paid for.
  • Create a ZenDesk ticket when a WooCommerce order changes status. Use this Zap with a custom filter to customise it for a specific status – for example, when an order changes status to refunded.

To read more about this story, click here.

Myer department stores predict online profit next year

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Upscale Australian department store Myer is predicting that it will turn a profit from online sales for the first time in 2014, as it simultaneously revealed that its annual net profit fell by 9%.

Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes blamed generous penalty rates and wage costs under Labor’s Fair Work Act for a $10-$11 million negative impact on its $127.2 million profit.

He said he would consult the new coalition government about changing the act.

Photo credit; Matt Trostle on Flickr

Photo credit; Matt Trostle on Flickr

“We’re hoping that in dialogue with the government we’re given the opportunity to express that we think stopping increases coming in is important,” he told reporters.

Brookes also cited the ability of overseas online retailers to escape 10 per cent GST on products was also an unfair “free kick” damaging local retailers who were Australia’s biggest private employers.

“We’re certainly hoping that Mr Abbott and his team have a big set of ears to what very much needs to change,” he said.

After growing profit in the first half, Myer’s costs blew out in the second half with the cost of doing business increasing 3.1 per cent to $1.01 billion of the year to July 27.

Those costs are expected to increase another 4-5% this fiscal year, with money pumped into online initiatives, new stores and refurbishments.

However, Brookes conceded that is likely to mean profit falls again in the current first half.

But online sales revenue should hit $50 million this year, making the business profitable, Mr Brookes said, before profit grows again in 2014/15 as the benefits of the current spending emerge.

To read more on this story, click here.