Archive for July, 2013

Shipment tracker service now available for WooCommerce sites

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

You can now track shipments purchased with WooCommerce sites with the WooCommerce Shipment Tracking v1.1.4 Plugin.

You can use the plugin to add shipment tracking information to your orders and provide customers with an easy way to track their shipments.

After adding details to an order, the tracking information will appear in emails, the order tracking page, and the order view page in their account section.

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Online business matures in Australia in 2013

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

2013, although only half over, has been heralded as the year when online retailing in Australia grew up. Even people who were decrying online retailing just a few years ago have come to realize that it’s an essential part of a business plan now and businesses that started online are growing in leaps and bounds.

Telsyte senior research manager Sam Yip says, it’s been a “very big year of change”.

“There have been players early in the space that have dropped out, and a lot of bricks-and-mortar retailers are doing more.”

“We’re not hearing any more Gerry Harvey stories; everyone acknowledges that this is the channel to be operating in.”

Even Australia Post is acknowledging the change, altering its operations to accommodate the influx of parcel shipments it now has to deal with because of the online retail boom.

Now that Australia has embraced online retailing, Yip says, platforms like mobile are up next.

But first, the actual logistics of online selling have to be perfected.

“The other big challenge here is around delivery,” Yip says. “In the past year we’ve seen horror stories of where logistics have gone wrong, with people getting wrong orders all the time.”

“There’s a need to really refine that back-end logistics functionality.”

Considering traffic data from Experian, revenue, and noteworthy achievements (and excluding local divisions of global companies, such as Apple and Amazon, along with auction sites such as eBay and Gumtree), the top 20 online retailers of 2013, in no particular order, are:

  • Kogan
  • Milan Direct
  • Catch of the Day
  • Booktopia
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • Officeworks
  • Specialty Fashion
  • Big W
  • BrandsExclusive
  • The Iconic
  • Shoes of Prey
  • DealsDirect
  • Get Wines Direct
  • Groupon
  • Ozsale
  • StyleTread
  • Dick Smith
  • Appliances Online
  • EB Games
  • Westfield

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SEO out, social media in as ways to attract customers for online business

Monday, July 8th, 2013

SEO, the once all-powerful method of attracting online customers, has been demoted to co-star in the online marketing realm, as social media takes over the starring role.

According to Mark Gustowski, the global business development manager of Pyksis, SEO is just a small facet of online marketing now when trying to grow your customer base.

Much more effective is social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Tumblr and LinkedIn because they offer the opportunity for customer engagement.

Using Twitter as an example, Gustowski says companies can now actively look for potential customers using these social media tools. An online retailer of virus protection software, for example, could use the hashtag (#) search function in Twitter for finding people who have been hit with a virus (#computervirus or #virus) and then further narrow the search to a certain geographical region and then talk one-on-one with those potential customers via Twitter by tweeting to them.

The important thing to remember, Gustowski says, is that social media is all about engagement rather than the ‘hard sell’ and customers should be approached in a conversational manner.

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Online store lets Aussies buy American without the huge markup (also rakes in money for mum)

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Started in 2007 by Dr Carolina Tillett in Bendigo, Price USA is a site that lets Australians purchase things from the USA helping them to save a lot of money and allowing them to purchase items only available in the USA.

Working with partners in the USA, Price USA simply asks customers to fill out an order form on the website indicating what they want and from where. The US-based agents then buy the goods, package them up and ship them straight to the customer’s door.

Tillett charges the buyer 5 per cent of the total order price to handle the transaction and is raking in close to six figures every year from the comfort of her own home with relatively few business costs.

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Online discount party supply store brings in big bucks for stay at home mum

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

When stay at home mum Kristy decided to have friends purchase children’s party supplies and ship them to Australia so she could re-sell them in the country, she was only expecting to take in maybe an extra $50 per week.

Well, she’s getting a lot more than that, bringing in a tidy six-figure profit every year.

Starting out with an eBay story, she eventually switched to selling from her own website and started pulling in a quarter of a million dollars, all from her spare bedroom and all without borrowing a single cent.

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The Iconic defends recent job cuts and losses as growth phase

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Online retail giant The Iconic has defended recent staff cuts and losses as a shift from start up phase to a more established phase.

The company suffered $14 million in losses in its first year of operations and has laid off about 10% of its 300 member workforce recently.

But if co-founder Adam Jacobs is to be believed, that is all part of the plan.

“Last year we invested heavily in market entry. Our focus was on growth. And we experienced hyper-growth and that was great for us – it was a validation of our business model,” Jacobs recently told the Financial Review Sunday.

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Australia is world leader in online startups

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Australia is leading the way across the globe for new online businesses.

The amount of internet start-ups increased 200% from 2010 to 2012, outpacing both the United States and Britain by four times. However, that doesn’t mean that these new businesses are automatically booming. Many of them incur losses in the first few years of operating until they gain momentum and start making profit.

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Freelancer pushes competition out of the way to become best

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

With $50 million in revenue,, started in 2009 by Matt Barrie and stationed in Sydney, has overtaken its competition to be the go-to place for businesses to find top notch freelance contractors and for those contractors to find work.

Recently, the website made headlines for expanding its innovative crowdsourcing contest feature beyond design categories to include projects in any category.

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Website retailer rakes it in buying and selling virtual properties

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Flippa is the premier site in the world dedicated to being a marketplace for buying and selling websites.

Founded in Melbourne in 2009 by Matt Mickiewicz and Mark Harbottle, the site has over 200,000 registered users buying and selling websites.

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SurfStitch rides wave to success

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Garnering 30 million site visits and over 250 million page views since its launch in 2008 by Justin Cameron and Lex Pederson, SurfStitch, an online retailer that specialises in surf gear that is headquartered on the Gold Coast, is one of Australia’s most highly trafficked eCommerce sites and has pulled in $30 million in revenue for the company.

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