Archive for March, 2014

Sydney Morning Herald gives overview of online product safety guidelines

Monday, March 31st, 2014
Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

If you sell products online to Australian customers, you have to meet certain product safety requirements under Australian Consumer Law.

To help you with this, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has written a guide for businesses that outlines the steps you can take to meet safety requirements in your business. It also provides great tips for selling online, including:

  •     use good quality photos of your products
  •     give clear product descriptions and instructions for use
  •     provide an age-grading on children’s products
  •     check Australian safety standards and bans before listing a product for sale on your website.

Meeting the ACCC standards helps you to avoid:

  •     the costs of recalling unsafe products
  •     damaging your reputation
  •     exposing your business to legal action or formal complaints
  •     losing customers.

Download the Consumer product safety online guide now from the ACCC website.

To read more about this story, click here.


Australian businesses getting serious about online sales

Friday, March 28th, 2014
Photo credit; Timothy H on Flickr

Photo credit; Timothy H on Flickr

Myer boss Bernie Brookes and his counterpart at David Jones, Paul Zahra, believe they will both get to 10% of total sales done online over the next three to five years.

Australian retailers are crawling to 10% online penetration slowly, while their retail peers in the US and Britain have already met and surpassed that benchmark and are well on their way to 20% of all sales done online.

Analysts agree that Australian retailers have been slow to get online, and that hesitation and lack of investment going back to last decade have meant we will probably remain behind the pace of the US and western Europe.

”The Australian department stores in particular and retailers in general have copped a lot of flack for being slow to move online,” said Caroline Finch, senior analyst at research group IBISWorld.

”Myer and David Jones in particular have been slow when compared to their international counterparts, and the department store industry has gone backwards over the last five years largely as a result of losing market share to other players who have jumped into the online space.”

Brookes says the current trajectory of online sales in Australia is similar to what was experienced in the US and Britain, which augurs well for stores such as Myer matching the online sales rates booked by the likes of Neiman Marcus and John Lewis.

”If you look at the growth of online for John Lewis, Debenhams, Macys, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus and you plot it – it’s almost identical to us.

”It’s start at zero, goes to 1 per cent, doubles to 2, then doubles again to 4, double to 8 and that’s exactly the game plan we are seeing from a Myer point of view. So it’s happening at the same rate.”

The key game-changer, experts agree, is the proliferation of hand-held mobile devices, such as iPhones and tablets, that liberate shoppers to be able to make on-the-spot purchases as they walk through a department store, ride on a train or like what they see in a magazine as they sip a coffee at their favourite cafe.

”And this is what we see in the banking sector,” said NAB retail sector head Tiernan White, ”where mobile connectivity is extremely important to us.

”Access to quick transactability is certainly helping online sales.”

To see more on this story, click here.

New chart gives perspective on Australian online shopping

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

A new chart from Business Insider Australia shows just how big and small Australian online spending is.

While online spending was $14.9 billion for the year to January, that only represents about 6.5% of traditional retail spending. Home grown Australian retailers have the largest share of online sales, almost three-quarters of the market.

Traditional retail spending, in comparison, does more than that each month, or about $22.8 billion.

To see the chart and read more about this story, click here.

AdRoll coming to Australia

Friday, March 21st, 2014
Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

AdRoll is coming to Australia and hopes to hire 20 people by the end of this year.

AdRoll, used by internet giants like Facebook and Twitter, is a retargeting company that presents ads to internet users based on their previous searches, which are meant to deliver more sales because they reflect a reader’s interests.

Digital advertising is the fasted-growing type of advertising in Australia, making up 18% of ad bookings by advertising buyers in February. And in the eight months to February it grew by 23.4% to $910 million, compared with 4% growth across all mediums, according to this week’s figures from the Standard Media Index.

To read more on this story, click here.

Eventbrite opens up shop in Melbourne

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Photo credit; Bev Sykes on Flickr

Photo credit; Bev Sykes on Flickr

Australia continues to attract online businesses from overseas and the latest to open a branch in the country is San Francisco-based Eventbrite.

Eventbrite, an online platform that allows users to promote and sell tickets to live events, will open an office in Melbourne soon, while file-sharing service Hightail (previously known as YouSendIt) has already opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in the city.

Eventbrite’s husband-and-wife founders, Julia and Kevin Hartz, visited the city to formalise a sublease deal with start-up 99Designs to house the beginnings of the company’s fifth international office. The company, launched in the US in 2006, already has offices in San Francisco, London, Argentina and Brazil.

The Australian office will focus on sales and marketing. “Australia has always been one of our core international markets since the beginning of time,” said Julia. “We really started to see traction in 2008, just a couple of years in [from launching]. We have localised the site for Australia but we are now interested in really getting in there and having a strong presence.”

To read more on this story, click here.

Australian businesses need to implement esignatures more: Adobe

Monday, March 17th, 2014
Photo credit; Miquel C. on Flickr

Photo credit; Miquel C. on Flickr

Australian businesses are missing out on cost efficiency and environmental benefits as they lag behind the US and the UK in the adoption of electronic signature solutions, research from Adobe has found.

The research, which surveyed over 100 customers in Australia in January, found only 1.5% of Australian businesses are using e-signature solutions versus 12% of US and 4.5% of UK companies.

Adobe’s vice president of Adobe EchoSign Jon Perera said the majority of respondents blame the government for the lack of uptake.

“Seventy-six percent of Australians said they think the government needs to do more to drive the adoption of these signatures,” he said.

“In other words, until they see government mainstream it and really use it internally we won’t get the ball rolling down the hill or get the momentum we’d like to see.”

Perera said businesses are recommending for all Commonwealth departments and agencies to adopt e-signatures by implementing them on government forms, to show the public it is “perfectly legal, accepted, and safe”.

To read more about this story, click here.

New Year’s resolution turns into hugely successful business for Sydney woman

Friday, March 14th, 2014
Photo credit; Bradley Gordon on Flickr

Photo credit; Bradley Gordon on Flickr

Amy Ta from Sydney just marked her one year anniversary as a business owner.

“I really wanted this year to be different,” she says. “I wanted to do something that I loved.”

A fan of buying and selling online, Ta’s New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to create her online store, Seventh Tree Soaps. She now produces handmade soaps for customers worldwide.

“One third of my business is in the United Arab Emirates,” Ta says.

Agents for brick and mortar stores are also flocking to get a piece of the quality products she produces.

“People want products that are unique and well crafted,” she says.

Now her full-time job, Ta’s online store has performed so well she is considering expansion.

“I am already thinking of putting on staff to help,” Ta says. “It’s amazing. For now I have unofficial help from my husband.”

To read more about this story, click here.

New crowdfunding platform opens in Australia

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

VentureCrowd, an Australian online equity based crowdfunding platform, has officially opened for business in the country.

The VentureCrowd platform allows investors to receive equity in high growth-potential startups, making them shareholders in the startup ompanies.

It opened Feb. 20 with over 200 registered investors and 36 startups which have been pre-screened by the best Australian accelerators, incubators, angel groups and university programs.

Artesian Venture Partners, one of Australia’s leading early stage venture capital firms, developed the platform.

According to Artesian managing partner Jeremy Colless, there are a very large number of sophisticated investors in Australia who have not previously invested in the startup space.

“The wholesale investor market in Australia is large with 207,000 wealthy individuals in Australia sitting on $US625 billion ($684 billion) worth of assets,” Says Colless. “Until now there have been major barriers to entry for investors in startups. An investor either had to have a large amount of money and time available to screen and review each potential startup investment personally, or had to commit as much as $250,000 to a venture capital fund to qualify as a limited partner.”

To read more about this story, click here.

Australian Tourism introduces online booking widget for businesses

Monday, March 10th, 2014
Photo credit; Marc Falardeau on Flickr

Photo credit; Marc Falardeau on Flickr

Tourism Australia has introduced the free Australian Tourism Booking Widget for Australian tourism businesses to help them manage their bookings online.

The Booking Widget is designed to support businesses in the accommodation, attractions, events and tours sectors.
It’s easy to install and can be used to:
  • take bookings
  • manage your rates
  • update availability
  • accept payments.
All you need to do is:
  1. Register online External link on the Tourism Australia website.
  2. Follow the step by step instructions to add the Booking Widget to your website or Facebook business page.

To read more about this story, click here.


Demand for products leads some online Australian stores to open physical shops

Friday, March 7th, 2014
Photo credit; Christian Haugen on Flickr

Photo credit; Christian Haugen on Flickr

Kylie Jackson, from Melbourne,  didn’t plan on opening an online business, but was coerced by friends into establishing Wallfry three years ago to sell her artwork for kids rooms. Now she is fending off agents from brick and mortar shops who want her products in their stores.

“The key for my product is being able to personalise the colours,” she says. “It’s a unique service I offer that I don’t want to lose.”

The demand on some online businesses mean that some have to open physical stores, like the father and daughter team of Peter and Krystal Ruchs, who opened Winestains Barossa, selling items produced from recycled wine barrels.

“We had so many people wanting to view the products,” says Krystal. “This was the next logical step. We didn’t think there would be such demand. And we only sell within Australia”.

To read more about this story, click here.