Aussie businesses slow to log on to online trade trend

Leighanne Townsley from CJ Vogler and Son. Voglers are a small business who are keeping up with technology by having their own online store.
Leighanne Townsley from CJ Vogler and Son. Voglers are a small business who are keeping up with technology by having their own online store. Sarah Harvey

IPSWICH retailers have been warned to get online or risk losing business.

Despite Australia having one of the most tech-savvy populations in the world, Australian businesses are lagging behind the rest of the world in online sales according to a recent Deloitte report and Ipswich businesses are no better.

The report stated Australian retailers "continue to lag behind those in the USA and Europe.

The urgency for retailers to adopt an effective online strategy is clear, and the anticipated growth in future online sales suggests many retailers recognise this."

Ipswich hobby store CJ Vogler and Son have embraced the online world with sales on their website and Ebay store.

CJ Vogler's and Sons online coordinator Leighanne Townsley said online sales were an increasing part of their business.

"These days you've got to be on the internet," she said.

"We've shipped across Australia and even to New Zealand for years but it's really picked up especially through Ebay."

While the majority of the Top of Town business remains in-store the company is expecting online sales to be a growth area.

"We're certainly hoping it will grow. It's the way business is going."

Similarly Ipswich artist Nicole Casella has taken to the internet to sell badges, hairclips and bows across the world.

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Brett Kitching said online shopping was a challenge for retailers.

"Online buying has eaten huge holes into retail, especially in the last 12 months to two years," he said.

"It's the way of the future, consumers have definitely voted with their computers."

Mr Kitchins said going online was a challenge for businesses.

"Whether they are local or national it's (online) obviously a key market for the future.

"All businesses should be looking to get involved."

However, despite the threat of online to brick and mortar stores Mr Kitching said he believed there was still a place for traditional stores.

"You cannot replace the customer service experience," he said.

"Retail will still continue. The important thing for all retail is still customer service."

Topics:  business ebay internet online business technology

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