If you run a local retail business like a toy store, book store or even a shoe store, then a new study indicates that you need to start getting online.
The study by market research firm The Leading Edge shows that almost one third of the 1500 online shoppers surveyed said the main reason they shopped from overseas websites was to buy goods not available locally. While 19% said they shopped offshore because it was cheaper and a similar number said they shopped internationally for a greater choice of products.
Paypal commissioned the research to determine the biggest areas of growth and opportunity for retailers.
“Our research paints a positive picture for domestic retailers,” said PayPal managing director Frerk-Malte Feller. Now local businesses just need to get their online strategy right, so they can begin competing with international rivals.
One of the biggest threats to online retailers is shopper trust. Only one third of those surveyed believe it is safe to shop online domestically and even less actually shop from Australian website (23%).
While they stats might look daunting, they actually pose a great opportunity for retailers to get their business online. The first place to start is with your website. If you don’t have one, build one ASAP. If you do have one, then it might be time to give it an overhaul. I recently wrote an article title ‘Website Design 101 for 2011” which will help. But the most important things to consider are:
- Keep the layout simple and easy to navigate
- Have a validation certification (such as TRUSTe) for e-commerce sites
- Include all your delivery options, costs and time-frames
Recent Forrester research shows Australians are projected to spend $26.86 billion online this year, up from $24.02 billion in 2009. So there is definitely an opportunity for local business to have a slice of the “online revenue pie” in 2011.