Grab your coffee and let's dive into the most recent updates in the Australian eCommerce landscape and how to adapt with them. From new tax regulations to the latest trends, make sure your business is staying ahead of the curve with these essential eCommerce strategies.
Recommendations for Australian business owners
GST Changes Levelling The Playing Field
Let's talk tax. The Australian government has recently announced that they'll be tightening up the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regulations for international retailers selling to Aussie customers. Starting from 1 July 2023, these retailers will be required to charge GST on all sales under AUD 1,000.
What does this mean for local eCommerce businesses? With international retailers no longer having a tax advantage on low-value goods, Aussie businesses can step up their game and capture market share.
- Price differences between local and international goods will reduce
- Consumers may be more likely to reconsider local brands
- Opportunity to enhance competitiveness
Encourage People To Buy Local
Encouraging people to buy local can be a challenge in a country where 30% of us don't really feel a part of a group. (And, that data was before the pandemic). Establishing a loyalty program can counteract this, and create a community connected to your brand. This, in turn, grows a loyal following connected to your business.
If you're a part of a local business group, advocating for a government run campaign as a body can help support local businesses during the recession.
- Loyalty programs can help create a sense of community
- Participate in larger government led or council campaigns
The South Australian government has encouraged locals to buy local products to support the local economy for years. Their campaigns, like the #IChooseSA campaign, was originally in response to the SA bushfires. It encourages a sense of community support. WA has run a 'Buy West Eat Best' campaign. Victoria, a 'Click For Vic' campaign to encouraging people to buy the 'best of Victoria' delivered to your door. In Queensland there's a 'Go Local, Grow Local' campaign.
participate in buy local campaigns
There is likely to be continued initiatives from local governments during 2023-4. Often there is an advertising toolkit provided for small businesses. Resources tend to include posters, window stickers and social media graphics. You can add the official logos to your website, or list yourself on the official campaign websites to improve your ecommerce store's visibility locally.
Supporting buy local campaigns can be beneficial to large and small businesses alike, as long as their product offering is indeed, local.
make it easy for customers to shop directly from your Social profiles
There's no denying that social media has become an integral part of our lives. It's no surprise then that it's also changing the way we shop. With more and more consumers relying on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook for shopping inspiration and product discovery, Australian businesses should consider better embracing social commerce.
You may already be doing this, but in case you aren't, social commerce is shoppable social media posts. They allow your social media followers to browse and shop directly in-app, via Instagram reels, TikTok videos, Pinterest pins and Facebook photos. Social commerce can streamline product discovery, make browsing easier, personalise recommendations for you and link in with your customer support services.
Social commerce is easily neglected by a smaller business, but can give you a competitive advantage in 2023. Platforms like Instagram claim product tags can reduce your cost per acquisition by 20%.
- Reduce your Cost Per Acquistion
- Streamline the customer experience
- Take advantage of social platform's AI and User Experience
Achieve competitive advantage by beefing up your social commerce set-up. Make it easy for your customers to shop directly from your profiles and create a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
New Payment Trends
Pursue 'Hassle Free'
Convenience is critical to encouraging repeat purchases, and providing a frictionless shopping experience is a part of that. As Australian consumers adopt digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Afterpay, it's important to offer payment options being adopted by your target market within your online store.
Tip: make sure the script load times aren't throwing your website load times into the red, by working with a developer or ecommerce specialist to set this up for you.
Sustainability: A growing concern
Aussies are becoming more and more environmentally conscious, and they're looking for eco-friendly options when shopping online. As an eCommerce business owner, it's crucial to consider the environmental impact of your operations, and adopt sustainable practices, such as eco-friendly packaging and carbon offset programs, to reduce your business's environmental footprint.
Note: Customers are becoming more angry at 'green washing', so make sure your brand is sincere.
An example of an ecommerce store in Australia that has generated more sales by 'being green' is Biome. Biome offers eco-friendly products with transparent information on sourcing and production. Biome is cultivating a customer base with aligned values. As this customer base continues to increase in Australia, it's a good example of forward-thinking brand positioning.
By demonstrating your commitment to sustainability, you can appeal to the increasing number of environmentally conscious customers. Many customers now expect and demand 'planet saving choices' and you'll ensure your business is keeping pace with the changing ecommerce landscape.
Stay on top of Customer Experience
Providing a seamless omnichannel customer experience has been touted for years. Are we there yet? Many businesses still aren't syncing customer data with multiple channels using a CRM system. Make sure your business is. Personalization provided through integrated channel experience is no longer a trend, it's a must-have for ecommerce.
- Review your channel approach, sync it with the customer journey
- Continue to optimise your website for mobile devices
- If you have too many pop-ups or ads on your website, get rid of them
- Invest in and monitor conversion rates
- Evolve email automation strategies
Managing customer experience will ultimately improve sales and retention.
Invest In Your Customer Base
If you don't already have a loyalty program to encourage repeat purchase behaviour and reward customer behaviour, make 2023 your year. Loyalty programs can increase customer spending around 20% (Bond Brand Loyalty survey), and almost 80% of consumers are more likely to choose a retailer that has a loyalty program over one without.
Small businesses like independent online book stores can offer promotions like free books after a certain number of purchase. A fitness store may offer free online classes or one-on-one coaching for those that attend classes a certain number of times a week.
A great example of an ecommerce loyalty program is online beauty retailers that offer mystery gift boxes to loyal clientele. The better the mystery gifts, the better the social media reviews of the brand. Over the last year, brands like Mecca have been criticized for disappointing mystery 'beauty loop' gifts, while competitor brands like Adore have been building traction with their generosity.
Social media users are raving about the number of products in Adore beauty retailer's mystery gift offers. Rave reviews are giving them traction over competitors. Comments on Reddit beauty forums bemoan Mecca's program has 'gone to the dogs'.
Personally, I quite like Mecca's beauty loop.
My point is, your loyalty program should encourage a sense of brand loyalty. Stay on top of social sentiment and respond accordingly. People will come back to brands that adapt in response to feedback.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, make sure you're staying ahead of the curve and adapting with new tech, laws and consumer expectations by continuously updating your customer journey. Your customers are counting on you to provide the best shopping experience, so push some boundaries and show the world what you're made of.