Archive for the ‘selling online’ Category

Oak Flats woman busted for dodgy online business practices

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Photo courtesy of Widjaya Ivan on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Widjaya Ivan on Flickr

Roselyn Joy Wilson, formerly of Oak Flats, New South Wales, has been fined $6,510 by Fair Trading and ordered to pay a total $11,120 compensation to six customers for scamming them via her fake internet business.

Dozens of customers complained about not receiving generators purchased from Wilson’s online business, Quality Direct Pty Ltd.

The fake online business,, purported to sell generators at a discounted price, provided customers pay for goods upfront.

At least six customers were ripped off between February and June, 2012, after they deposited sums of almost $2000 each into an account but received no generators.

“Consumers were left high and dry by [Wilson], who simply stopped taking calls from frustrated people demanding to know when their generator would be delivered,” Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said.

“It appears [she] had no intention of supplying the goods she received payment for and she then failed to co-operate with Fair Trading once consumers sought our intervention.

“Failing to provide goods and services in a timely manner is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading will take action against any online trader who thinks they will get away with such dishonest behaviour.”

Fair Trading received more than 50 complaints about the business in 2011 and 2012, prompting it to warn the public about dealing with Wilson or Quality Direct.

To read more on this story, click here.

Australia missing out on Asian e-commerce boom, high ranking bank exec warns

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

Asia, particularly China, is going through an e-commerce boom and Australian businesses are missing out on it, warns Sarv Girn, chief information officer at the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Although internet penetration rates in Asia are low when compared with Australia, they are growing more rapidly than the rest of the world, Girn said.

The projected growth of internet usage in the region could see the number of people on the internet in the region basically double.

According to eMarketer, consumers in the Asia-Pacific will spend more money online than the US for the first time ever this year. And for every ten US dollars spent, six will come from China.

According to official figures from the China Internet Network information Center, China has 618 million internet users as of December 2013. That means China has an online population 33 times that of Australia with only a 45.8 per cent penetration rate. Half of that population shops online.

Yet despite the huge opportunity for Australian businesses to sell directly to China’s rapidly expanding middle class via the web, Aussie businesses are lagging behind the competition from other countries.

“There are a range of popular Australian brands sold on China’s Tmall, but sales volumes are still small,” said Ben Simpfendorfer, a Hong Kong-based investment banker at strategy consultancy Silk Road Associates.

“Making your product available is just a first step. But it’s hard to be noticed without an effective marketing strategy, especially a digital media strategy.”

A number of Australian brands such as Penfolds wine, dairy provider A2 Milk, baby food manufacturer Bellamy’s Organic, and clothing store Jeanswest have their own shopfronts on Alibaba’s B2C website Tmall.

If that seems too daunting for Australian businesses, the process has recently been simplified thanks to a partnership between China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and Australia Post.

Through the agreement, businesses no longer have to overcome onerous obstacles such as registering as a Chinese business entity or employing local staff in the country. Australian businesses now have the option of piggy-backing off Australia Post and shipping their products directly from Australia.

To read more on this story, click here.

All the legalities you ought to know for running an ecommerce site

Friday, July 4th, 2014
Photo courtesy of on Flickr

Photo courtesy of on Flickr

WA Today has posted a comprehensive list of all the legal details you should consider when starting an online business.

The list contains information about:

  • business registration
  • your business or company name
  • your business domain name
  • what you need for taxation purposes
  • applying for an ABN, and
  • licences and permits.

It also points readers to where they can get more legal tools and tips from the Australian government.

Also in an effort to help out small business owners, the Brisbane Times has published a list of programmes and initiatives that small business owners should know, plus how to register a domain name in Australia.

The Times’ list includes:

  • the Small Business Advisory Service program
  • the Single Business Service
  • the National Broadband Network, and
  • Digital Economy programs.

To see WA Today’s list of legal issues for ecommerce business owners, click here.

To see the Brisbane Times’ list of programmes and initiatives for small business owners, click here. To see the Times’ guide for registering a domain name, click here.

Aussie small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Monday, June 30th, 2014
Photo credit; Pavel Medzyun on Flickr

Photo credit; Pavel Medzyun on Flickr

Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are missing the opportunity to use online tools to run their core business better by: cutting costs, reaching customers and suppliers, innovating and getting more control over their business, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

Businesses with less than 200 employees employ two-thirds of private sector workers and contribute more than half of Australia’s private sector GDP and if advanced online technology becomes the norm among SMEs, the productivity gains would spread through the whole economy.

There are four big opportunities for SMEs to use online tools more effectively: mobile, social, data analytics, and the cloud. The paper says:

  • only 18% of Australian SMEs with an internet connection have developed mobile-optimised websites.
  • only a quarter of Australian SMEs with an internet connection say they use social networking for marketing purposes.
  • many SMEs haven’t realised the full potential of data analytics to understand their customer segments.
  • only 8% of Australian SME managers say they use the cloud. But 47% of SMEs with an internet connection use basic cloud computing services such as webmail or cloud data storage.

All four opportunities can help small firms win where before they would have lost to larger firms that could absorb the fixed costs of corporate IT.

To read more on this story, click here.

Australia’s small businesses increase their online footprint as ecommerce booms Down Under

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

Australian e-commerce sales increased from $27 billion in 2010, to more than $37 billion in 2013 and have been continuously demonstrating an increase of $3-4 billion every year, according to a press release published in the Digital Journal.

The press release also said:

  • Australian consumers spent an annual average of $2,108 online in 2013
  • Almost 73% of Internet users belonging to the age group of 35 to 44 have done shopping online.
  • Australian consumers spent a total of $16 billion online in 2012.
  • By the end of 2012, 45% of Australian businesses were said to have an online presence including a full feature website or a single home page.
  • 55% of Australians believe online shopping portals offer lower prices, compelling customers to buy things online.
  • 94% of the entire population of Australia has access to high-speed Internet
  • 60% of them go online multiple times a day
  • 1/5 of the population prefers online shopping due to the convenience of buying from the comfort of your own home or on the move.
  • Less than half of Australian businesses have an online presence, such as a website, eBay store or social media page, according to the according to the Australian Bureau of statistics.
  • Just 33.2% of micro businesses having a web presence compared to 97.3% of big businesses.

To read more on this story, click here.

Herald offers legal advice for domain owners

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
Photo credit; Tristan The Booklight on Flickr
Photo credit; Tristan The Booklight on Flickr

The Sydney Morning Herald offers the following advice for domain owners to help them better protect their domains:

When you register a domain name you get a license giving you the exclusive right to use that domain name for a specific period. For .au domains this is two years.

Can someone register domain names that are similar to my business?

Yes they can. You have a license to use the specific domain names that you register. Other parties can register and use similar domain names.

Is this illegal?
No, simply registering domain names that are similar to another business’s domain name, does not breach current Australian law.
However, there are other serious considerations, including:
  • Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA) policy applies to all .au domains and all Australian domain holders. Australian domain names may only be registered to Australian businesses. and domain names must be “an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or trademark or closely and substantially connected to the registrant”. Failure to demonstrate this connection can lead to the domain name being cancelled, under auDA policy.
  • Using another trader’s registered trademark in the registered classes may be trademark infringement and a breach of the Trade Marks Act 1995.
  • Australian Consumer Law prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct, including false and misleading representations that one business has an affiliation with another business that it does not have.
  • Using another trader’s branding and/or trademarks, even if the branding is not a registered trademark, may be passing off.

How can I protect my brand online?

Legal solutions

  • Choose a brand that is clearly distinguishable from your competitors can be easier to protect and defend.
  • Include a copyright notice in your website terms that sets out your intellectual property rights.
  • Consider registering variations of your main domain name.
  • Register your business trade mark to give you the exclusive right to use this trade mark as a brand name for the products or services specific in your registration.
  • Check for infringement.

To read more on this story, click here.

Facebook brings video ads to Australia

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Facebook is bringing its Premium Video Ads and Video Metrics to Australia, one of seven markets outside of the US where Facebook is rolling out the new services.

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) chief executive Alice Manners said recent estimates showed video advertising was growing at 55.7 per cent, representing 14.3 per cent of digital display dollars, for the quarter.

Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton said that Facebook Premium Video offers brands new ways to engage and connect with over 10 million Australians who access Facebook daily.

“In the coming months, we’ll be working closely with advertisers to deliver high-quality video campaigns that create the best possible advertising experience,” Mr Easton said.

The 15-second video ads appear in users’ newsfeeds and play automatically with the sound muted until they are clicked on.

Facebook began selling ads in the United States in March.

To read more about this story, click here.

Brick-and-mortar giants finally making strides online

Thursday, May 29th, 2014
Photo credit; Timothy H on Flickr

Photo credit; Timothy H on Flickr

Both David Jones and Myers appear to finally be getting the hang of this whole internet fad.

While Myer’s third quarter sales were down, its online sales had increased. Myer says it has 119,000 products now available through the website and nine million visits to the site over the quarter.

David Jones fared better, but its third quarter sales still weren’t great. However, the upmarket department store reported a 190% increase in online sales over the past year, albeit from a very low base. It is seeking to offer a dual in-store and online offering.

To read more about this story, click here and here.

WooThemes introduces new booking plugin

Thursday, May 15th, 2014
Photo credit; Sylvia Schade on Flickr

Photo credit; Sylvia Schade on Flickr

WooThemes has just released a new, innovative booking plugin for WooCommerce.

The extension, aptly named WooCommerce Bookings, will allow online businesspeople to:

  • trade their time for cash money,
  • set up appointments,
  • connect with clients,
  • link dependent resources, and
  • integrate their services with their website.

What makes WooCommerce Bookings unique is that it takes a website from being just an online brochure, to being a place where people can go to actually book an appointment online.

The plugin is highly flexible and the WooThemes team has been perfecting it since 2011, according to WooThemes co-founder Mark Forester.

To read more on this story and check out a video about WooCommerce Bookings, click here.

WooThemes recommends A/B testing for your WordPress ecommerce site

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Photo credit; David Bleasedale on Flickr

Photo credit; David Bleasedale on Flickr

WooTheme’s Tom Ewer recommends the following plugins for conducting A/B testing on your WordPress-based ecommerce site:

Ewer says using a WordPress plugin is preferable to using an outside tool for testing because these plugins are specifically designed for WordPress and are far more intuitive for people who already know the platform.

He also explains that conducting regular tests of your ecommerce site is important for knowing what parts of it are working well and what parts need improving.

To read more on this story, click here.