Local retailers under threat: Harvey

Almost half of Australians online spending is going to overseas retailers, according to Online Retailer Expo and Conference managing director Mark Harvey.
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Almost half of Australians online spending is going to overseas retailers, according to Online Retailer Expo & Conference managing director Mark Harvey.
Speaking just over a month before the opening of the second annual Online Retailer Expo & Conference in Sydney, Harvey said Australian retailers who continue to ignore the “phenomenal power behind online shopping” should be aware that “overseas web retailers are reaping sales from Australian consumers without even trying”.
“A staggering 36.8 percent of web retailers who responded to the recent US-based Internet Retailer survey have revealed that Australia ranks in their top three markets for generating web sales outside of the United States,” he said.
“What is more disturbing is the fact that some of these retailers admitted to winning this business without offering the necessary features and functions designed to cater for international shoppers.” 
Harvey said more retailers need to ask themselves why Australian consumers are behaving this way.
“A whole new generation of consumers have taken control and are changing the game for the retail industry,” he said.
“With access to a wealth of information online, customers are speaking to us loud and clear by putting their credit cards on the line and transacting.”
Bing Lee head of e-commerce Peter Krideras agrees with Harvey.
He said tech-savvy consumers reluctantly have to benefit international businesses because they are starved of brand choice.
“The delay in Australian retailers embracing selling online has made it easy for overseas ventures to tap into the Australian market.
“The quicker Australian organisations embrace the power of the web, the quicker we can capture this growing market … before we lose more money overseas.”
According to Forrester Research, Australian online spending is expected to grow to $32 billion by 2012. 
For more information on the OnlineRetailer Expo & Conference 2010 visit www.onlineretailer.net