Buy Online for Half the Price – Challenges Retailers are Facing

 In Ask The Experts, Daily Column

Australian Retailers beware! Resist change and you’re just a click away from being extinct

It’s becoming more and more apparent that Australian Retail is facing a few challenges in 2011. With the ever growing attraction to online shopping, overseas giants such as Zara and GAP heading to our shores and the rising costs of running a business, I have to say I’m not surprised.[blockquote]I am your typical Gen y shopping savvy female. [/blockquote] I love to shop and I love a good bargain. So I’m guessing if you show me a skirt in-store for $100 that I can now buy on ebay for $50, I’m going to take the online option all the way! And if you are a shopping savvy girl like me then you have been waiting with baited breath for big name overseas brands like Zara, Gap and Victoria’s Secret to hit Australia for years.  Australian Retailers beware there is going to be some serious competition!

Not that there hasn’t been warning signs for a while that this was on the horizon! You only have to visit your local shopping centre to realise music shops are becoming extinct! Why buy a CD when you can download it from Itunes? [blockquote]I will admit I am a little concerned that I may soon have to forgo the retail shopping experience and turn to online shopping. In the famous words of Carrie Bradshaw “shopping is my cardio”[/blockquote] However with the strong aussie dollar, heavily reduced costs on product and let’s face it – continuous technological advancements, going online is on the up and up and if I don’t jump on board soon I may not be the savvy girl I mentioned earlier. In fact the popularity of online shopping is expected to grow 5.1 % per annum over the next five years in Australia alone.[blockquote]With this new surge of online discounts coupled with the recession, the mentality of Australian shoppers is changing. [/blockquote]

We used to wait for the Annual sales to hit twice a year but now we can shop for bargains 365 days of the year. And it’s not only online -thanks to outlet stores  and regular sales we can find our favourite brands heavily discounted all year round! High end shopping while once aspirational and highly desired is now looked upon as ridiculous and perhaps even a little thoughtless. With the tough economic times and interest rates continuing to rise it’s no wonder people are now trained to tighten their purse strings.

So where does this leave Australian Retail? Well frankly it leaves them with an expiration date or a good kick up the back side to start reassessing their approach and essentially begin to make some changes and keep up with the times! Resistance to change could be their biggest downfall. Get Online people!

If you’re having problems in the Retail sector click on this link for ways to overcome some issues you may be facing. [Top ten difficulties in Australian Retail for 2011]

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