Smart retailers are cashing in on the online spending boom

Lindsay McPhee, The West Australian newspaper
5th August, 2011.

PhiliaWhile some retailers continue to blame online shopping and the GST exemption for imports valued under $1000 for the sector’s slump, many small businesses are cashing in on the move towards web-based buying.

Telstra and Council of Small Business of Australia research found small retailers with websites were reaping 41 per cent of turnover via the internet.

Philia Kailis, owner of boutique design shop Test Tube in Mt Lawley, said creating a website and online shopping access in June had boosted her business and attracted customers from across Australia and Asia.

“I’ve got 600 products on there,” she said. “It was a really good way to expand the business.

“With retail now you can’t just sit there and expect people to come to you. You need to be dynamic, and with online, you can reach far beyond Perth.”

While the strong Australian dollar and tempting offers such as free shipping pull more business offshore, Ingrid Just from consumer advocate Choice said the shift to online shopping was an opportunity for businesses.

“We are entering into a new age of retail and some stores are really doing well by combining online with bricks and mortar,” Ms Just said.

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