E-commerce businesses are all the rage amongst entrepreneurs and marketers. But what are the biggest challenges facing e-commerce stores in Australia?
E-commerce has blown up in Australia in recent years. With more and more Australians shopping online each year its no surprise that more Aussies are looking to start their own online store. Despite the positives, there are some challenges to running an e-commerce store in Australia. From logistics to optimising for mobile here are the biggest challenges facing e-commerce stores in Australia.
Shipping in Australia
The biggest challenge facing e-commerce stores in Australia is shipping. Australia is one of the least densely populated countries on Earth. With a population density of 3 people per square kilometre, Australia is presented with a unique problem in regards to shipping.
While the United States and the United Kingdom are used to 2-hour same-day delivery from big players like Amazon and eBay. Australia lags behind the rest of the world in regards to fast delivery times.
The vast distances between capital cities and regional centres in Australia, mean that same day or next day delivery is near impossible for orders sent to different cities. To get an understanding of the distances involved a parcel sent by road from Melbourne to Sydney would take a minimum of 9 hours to reach the end customer, or 36 hours to reach a customer in Perth.
It is important that e-commerce businesses think strategically on how they ship products across the country. One common strategy is to keep stock as close to the end customer as possible. This can be done by looking at customer data and what shipping and storage methods are available to best serve them.
Good news is courier companies are stepping up to this challenge. With Toll offering cheap and reliable overnight delivery services. It has never been easier and faster to send product to your customer.
High Level of Competition
Online sales are exploding and more and more Australians are starting their own e-commerce store. With a low barrier of entry, virtually anyone can grab a product and start an online store tomorrow.
This means that competition is high in this space. The high level of competition is most evident in niches like fashion and apparel, health and beauty and those generic dropshipping stores on Amazon.
This high level of competition leads to higher advertising costs in Australia as more and more stores bid on the same keywords and target the same audiences.
Overcoming this challenge is no easy task. However, it is not impossible. The key is to be different from your competitors in terms of branding and how you market your product. Remember to market the benefit your customer receives from the product, not the product itself.
Optimising for Mobile
If you’re a retailer with an online store and you aren’t considering mobile shoppers, I’ve got some bad news. Australians aren’t only looking for a great purchase experience on desktop but mobile too. That’s why it is important to optimise your site for both mobile and desktop.
Chances are your online store is already accessible on mobile devices, but that doesn’t automatically mean your business is optimised for mobile. Considering that by 2021, mobile ecommerce sales are expected to account for 54% of total ecommerce sales. You could be missing out on a lot of sales if your site isn’t optimised correctly.
Good news is if your first starting out your online store, e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce allow you to easily build your website with both desktop and mobile in mind. With many themes being “mobile-friendly” and tech-friendly.
The challenge lies, however, when you have an existing site that has been built specifically for desktop. Converting one of these websites to mobile can be both difficult and time-consuming. Redesigning a site with a mobile-first approach requires planning. You need to work out what content needs to be on the mobile version and what content is best served on desktop.
By overcoming this challenge your store will be positioned to convert traffic from mobile.