About the Book
Author Todd Alexander has been helping thousands of Australian businesses get online over the past ten years. A passionate promoter of the online opportunity, he has written seven books on the topic. His latest, Get Your Business Online Now is essential reading for all Australian business owners. Written in simple, easy-to-follow language, Todd has culminated all the essential information required to launch a fast, cost-effective and successful eCommerce strategy. Including tips and advice from a range of industry professionals such as eBay’s Managing Director, Deborah Sharkey; Deals Direct’s, Paul Greenberg; Bing’s Head of Search, Ming Foong; PayPal’s Managing Director and many more, the book also provides a simple nine month plan to get your business online, effectively.
- Why you need to be online
- Third party (deals) websites & online marketplaces
- Website design
- Payments solutions & integration
- Logistics solutions
- Search engine optimisation
- Social media
- Customer service
From the Book’s Introduction
As a business owner in Australia you’ve probably been asking yourself for some time whether your business needs to be online. If you’re already online, you probably ask yourself how much you need to spend to optimise your online presence and how best to get people to buy from you online.
Gone are the days of questioning whether online is appropriate for your business because whether you’re a retailer, service provider, wholesaler or other business, you will more than likely be feeling the pinch of today’s economic environment.
Do I need to be online?
Getting online, and doing it effectively, is mandatory for all Australian businesses. Here’s why . . .
Running your own business is getting tougher. Three recent events have signiﬁcantly impacted Australian business owners’ ability to maintain proﬁtability.
Dealing with the global ﬁnancial crisis (GFC) affected most businesses negatively and while Australia narrowly missed slumping into full-blown recession, the GFC had a signiﬁcant impact on consumer conﬁdence. By March 2011, consumer conﬁdence had fallen to a new nine-month low. Retailers were among the hardest hit, with growth month after month generally reported as being ﬂ at at best.
Partway through 2011, however, conﬁdence began to increase, producing a direct impact on the value of the Australian dollar. As the Australian dollar reached, then exceeded, parity with the US dollar, Australian consumers were given a boost – but this came in the form of renewed conﬁdence in spending the Australian dollar off shore. Forrester Research estimates that around 25 per cent of all online spending, for example, is to overseas retailers.
The growth of the internet and its penetration into the Australian household means around 80 per cent of the population are internet users, according to Forrester. The more people who use the internet, the easier it becomes for them to compare prices.
Is online a viable channel to help me grow my business?
This was the question a lot of Australian business owners began asking themselves in 2010 and 2011. As retailers went to the media and government complaining about the internet’s large negative impact on their business, the media responded by comparing online with traditional bricks-and-mortar stores. The comparison ultimately highlighted the considerable savings available online for Australian consumers. Not only did this bring Australian retailers into the eCommerce debate more vocally than ever before, it also improved consumer awareness of the benefits of online shopping. But online is much more than retail – it also represents opportunities for wholesalers, service providers, professionals and any business owner in Australia to ﬁnd new customers.
eCommerce in Australia is worth $34 billion dollars annually
It is not only retailers who are beginning to appreciate the possibility that online will help grow any business, rather than cannibalising existing sales. Forrester Research reports that 80 per cent of all Australians (or more than 14 million) over the age of 16 are online, and of these, 54 per cent (or
9.7 million) purchase items over the internet. The total amount spent by Australians online in 2012 is forecast by Forrester to reach over $34 billion, with an annual growth rate of 12.6 per cent. This growth is in stark contrast to bricks-and-mortar retail, which is more or less ﬂ at. But this number only represents the dollars processed via online transactions – every day, millions of customers go online to research products and services.
A conservative estimate for the number of times Australians will conduct an internet search in 2012 is around 80 billion. That equates to 220 million searches every single day. Of these billions of search terms entered into Australian search engines each year, how many relate to your business? If your customers can’t ﬁnd you online, chances are they will easily ﬁnd one of your competitors. Not only could you be losing existing customers, you could also be missing out on tapping into a whole new set of customers.