Recently, we (geekIt Digital) exhibited at the Online Retailer Expo in Sydney. I found it most interesting to observe the audience. There were the start up ‘one man bands’ as well as the large retailers looking for inspiration and innovation. Every vendor trying to profit from this sector was exhibiting and vendors were even selling to other vendors.

How many wannabe retailers and established retailers really understand the online landscape? People were scrambling for information like the world was about to end, which indicates that retailers are searching for innovation and help in trying to ‘get’ the online world and all of the possibilities it opens up.

It astounds me that retailers and wholesalers who want to ‘sell’ online don’t have a clear well thought out strategy and are not willing to invest in it. A budget is one thing but a strategy is another. How many retailers have you met that actually understand this? How many have presented their need to profit from social media or use apps specific to smart phones? How many have asked for sophisticated tracking tools, or a payment gateway that is PCI certified? How many really understand the power of consumer participation and sharing? The list just goes on. The online landscape is moving so quickly and it’s hard to keep up with all of the possibilities unless you invest in people to deliver the information and ideas.

Recently, one of my staff received a parcel delivery. A massive brown box arrived at reception. It was full of clothes she had ordered online from She had spent well over $600 AUD and it was interesting to observe her experiencing her purchase. She had delight plastered all over her face and had a sense of pride that she had purchased ten items for $600. Within five minutes everyone in the office clicked on to Asos got new customers hooked onto their estore purely through endorsement.

For the consumer, it’s all about the product range, price, ease of transacting, customer service, reviews and delivery. For the retailer it’s all about creating an experience, tracking consumer behaviour and providing consumers with tools to provide feedback and much more. My point here is that we are continuing to purchase overseas because we want more than our local brands. We want more choice and we want the experience. Just look at the bricks and mortar major retailers coming over here – GAP, ZARA etc. It’s only a matter of time before others arrive, thus Australian retailers should consider how to expand into other regions by utilising online bigger than ever before.

See article, Australian consumer ecommerce market lagging published on, where Frost & Sullivan concluded that the “Australian market needs to launch several new online retail chains within the next 2 years to counter increasing competition from overseas.”