New research reveals that two-thirds of Australian online retailers are increasing their eCommerce budget this season to drive their business further within the wake of a successful 2021 for them despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The findings, which come from an independent survey of 145 Australian e-tailers commissioned by parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP), reveal that 66 per cent of online stores will allot more resources and cash into enhancing, growing and looking after their online function this year. Among this group, 44 per cent will increase their eCommerce budget by more than 20 per cent, and 18 percent will up their spending by more than 40 per cent.
CP also looked at the performance of online stores last year, before the October to December peak retail period, and located that 63 per cent had a rise in sales between 23 March (when social restrictions were enforced) and 4 September 2021. Almost a third (31 per cent) of online stores saw an increase of up to 30 per cent, while 21 per cent experienced an increase of more than 50 per cent. However, 22 per cent said their online sales were the same as before the shutdowns.
The research also discovered that 32 per cent of online retailers did not make changes to increase their sales, which points to an organic increase in sales. The type of that did make changes, 49 per cent increased their sales and promotions, 45 per cent boosted their social media activity, 35 per cent improved their e-commerce sites, 31 percent communicated more with customers, 30 per cent incentivised customers, and 21 percent spent more on advertising.
“Consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online and also the retail sector is continuing to grow,” Paul Roper, Chief Commercial Officer at CP, said. “As such, online competition will grow alongside customer expectations, and retailers would be best to refine their eCommerce strategies ongoing to ensure they are performing.
“I believe key areas for improvement within e-tailer online strategies would be the customer experience, from product explore the site right through to the last mile delivery,” Roper added. “As part of this, retailers could also review and enhance their returns process, which includes choosing a delivery partner that aligns using their 2021 goals.”