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Guide to ecommerce and selling online

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Should you be starting to sell online and how to get started?

There are many businesses right now wanting to sell online. Technology plays a huge part in any business and there has been fantastic innovations using information and communication technology. But the fast take up of eCommerce is in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting impact on business. All businesses small and large find it difficult to get their produce and products to market. But online sales operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week all year around and the buyers come to you. Platforms like Shopify, Maropost, Wix, Square Space and other have made build your ecommerce website easy. But try them for yourself and don't let the jargon and acronyms confuse you. Download the free guide to get started or read on for more information about why you should be selling online.

eCommerce and selling online 2022V09-1
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Increasingly opportunities grow to sell products internationally. Reaching markets like Europe and greater Asia up till now has seemed to be too hard. The digital divide for Australia regional businesses has been getting smaller and eCommerce has been getting easier. Now is a great time to explore the options to get your business online and to improve the digital presence for your business.

Online sales are growing fast

National Australia Bank estimates that in the 12 months to June, Australians spent $55.72 billion on online retail, a level that is around 14.5% of the total retail trade estimate. In 2021 online retail sales worldwide exceeded US$4.9 Trillion. Australian eCommerce continues to grow and represented almost 15% of traditional bricks and mortar retail in 2022. This leaves enormous opportunity for new online businesses or for existing retailers to grow online.

The COVID Impact

Although the worst of the pandemic seems to be past it has had a major impact on consumers and sellers alike. In 2020 COVID had its impact on the Australian economy and marketplace. Interestingly many companies that were selling online and engaged in ecommerce saw massive sales grow. In some cases over 60% in the year. COVID made a change to the way consumers and businesses bought their products and services. The year of contactless commerce left a greater trust in ecommerce and buying online.

Small to medium sized businesses

There are over 2 million small to medium sized businesses in Australia that employ the majority of Australia’s workforce. Small businesses come in all shapes and sizes and like all businesses they need to market their product.

Today more than ever businesses and consumers want to search and buy online. Results from recent surveys have shown that more and more search engines like Google dominate when consumers look for products.

Although small business has embraced the internet and World Wide Web in many ways. Many have been slow to start selling products and services online. Fundamentally the reason for this has been lack of understanding, the perceived costs and available skills. Getting started selling online might have been difficult 10 or 15 years ago. But things have changed and today its easy and affordable by any sized business.

Direct to consumer

Many businesses that produce their own products have now found that selling direct to the consumer (D2C) can help keep the business moving. When distribution channels close or wholesalers do not work, selling direct can be a simple solution.

Primary producers are generally focused on bulk sales and shipments. Supporting a D2C model means being able to pack and ship smaller or individualise orders. This means potentially additional resources and a higher volume of smaller shipments. But while the order value might be smaller the percentage profit is generally higher.

eCommerce technology platforms

Online sales (ecommerce) are driven by specialised software that is based around a website. In some situations, it can be added to an existing website but more likely it replaces the website that you might already have. Improvements and innovation in eCommerce platforms and technologies now make it possible for any business to start and run an ecommerce website and sell online. Fully hosted and managed eCommerce platforms are available at a reasonable cost and allow the business to manage content and business processes.

There are a range of platforms and packages to suit most budgets. The cost will vary from business to business and based on the requirements, and there is no such thing as a free lunch. Create a plan, allocate a budget, get started and track results.

By tackling the eCommerce opportunity, the business can sell more products directly to consumers and other small producers or distributors which may cut out the middleman. This can help increase revenue for the business and open a new channel to market. It also creates an opportunity to connect with other providers and distributors.

Download the complete guide

eCommerce and selling online 2022V09-1
Download PDF • 737KB


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