Run, run baby – the online world awaits

An increasing number of shoppers are turning to the online world to get their shopping rocks off and in search of the apparent value the physical retailers aren’t offering.

Fair call.

The burgeoning onto the scene of online shopping gems like Etsy, Asos and Styletread, as well as the oldie-but-goodies eBay and Amazon, as well as the online extensions of virtually all other retailers excluding particulars such as Zara, for example, physical retail outlets have felt the pinch of consumerism on their budget targets.

The Australia Institute  (ARI) found that mark-ups on products could be around three per cent higher than the 35 per cent mark-up retail consumers deemed ‘fair’.

And why? Because the National Retail Association said that for the most part, the mark-ups were needed to cover rents, storage and services and that an extra ten per cent needed to be added  to cover the lost Goods & Services Tax (GST) that doesn’t apply to imports valued at under $A1000.

The survey by the ARI found that consumers saved between 50-75 per cent on the costs of many retail products by shopping online and using the online extensions of overseas brands and stores.

An unsurprising 85 per cent of survey respondents said they shopped online to save money. This followed immediately after by a 65 per cent concentration, which based online shopping around the fact the can more easily and reasonably compare products and prices. I know I do it, so why not everyone else?

However, surprisingly, clothes and apparel weren’t the first on online shoppers’ agenda, rather DVDs and music and 82 per cent of purchasers. With iTunes being the norm in music purchases nowadays, this is pretty expected – along with online music piracy. That’s a whole other conversation, though!

Online shoppers other purchases laid at around:

– 78% purchase books

– 70% purchase electrical and electronic goods

– 61% clothes and shoes

– 50% sports and leisure goods

– 48% cosmetics and perfume

– 13% fresh food

It would seem, as the Australian Institute ‘s executive director Richard Denniss said, retailers are at risk unless they embrace the technology, which is changing the face of retail in Australia.

(Bianca Hartage-Hazelman, AFR, 25 May 2011, Page 10)

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