A recent FedEx Express Survey Reveals Huge Online Opportunities for Australian retailers.
It seems bigger isn’t always better when it comes to the online shopping experience. That’s one key finding out of research published recently by FedEx Express. Fed Ex’s survey, which had a sample size of 9000, revealed that independent online retailers are in an ideal position to attract customers who prefer to buy from small online retailers. To capitalize on the opportunity, however, these companies must ensure that their website is user friendly and "mobile optimised" or responsive.
The study, which surveyed around 9000 individuals, found many Australian consumers would choose to purchase from a small independent online retailer before a larger or international brand. Last year 80% of Australians purchased at least one item online, representing a huge potential market.
The red flag in the survey for small business operators was that about 50% of those who expressed reluctance to buy from a niche online retailer would be put off by an amateurish website.
Another reason given for preferring to deal with large, well-known retailers was that they could offer more competitive shipping rates and a more efficient product tracking process. Having a clear and competitive shipping policy is of paramount importance.
Chief executive of the National Online Retailers Association, Paul Greenberg, sees the potential afforded to small online Australian retailers. Greenberg was recently quoted on the SmartCompany website as stating that “the good news is there’s a good opportunity for Australian niche retailers, locally, domestically, as well as globally.”
“Some would argue that we have almost had a return to a bespoke, artisan-style kind of retail as maybe a push back against mass consumption. I’m a bit agnostic either way but there are a lot of arguments and data to support the view that there is a lot of interest in those niche retailers – and why wouldn’t Australia lead the charge?”
In order to capitalise on the opportunities afforded, Greenberg stresses that local niche retailers need to have their website presence optimised. That means quick loading pages, mobile capability without loss of functionality and easily navigable pages. He notes that “Not only the product that you sell but the whole user experience needs to honour and reflect that brand. So retail is detail. And the challenge on us as SMEs is – even though it’s a hard road to walk – not to drop the ball on that end-to-end experience. A great design, fast and simple functionality are a part of that.”
Kim Garner, Managing Director of FedEx Australia, echoed Greenberg’s sentiments, stressing the importance of fast shipping and generous return policies.
“The research study highlights that consumers’ trust in the overall shopping experience is key to winning online customers from other markets,” Garner said.
“Customers need to have confidence that they can return items easily and have access to dependable shipping services.”