How many people do you know that have done some of their Christmas shopping online this year? It seems like everyone I talk to has ordered at least one item from their Christmas list online (myself included).
For a long time people have been talking about online shopping and questioning when it will take off in a serious way. This Christmas (2010) I think that online shopping has been met with the perfect economic and meteorological conditions creating the Perfect Online Shopping Storm.
So what were the conditions to bring about this perfect storm?
1. The Strong Australian Dollar – With the dollar being so strong, importing items from overseas has become a very attractive option. The online shopping world isn’t confined to your local shopping centre. It is global. Having a high dollar means we get even better value for less. This makes it increasingly more difficult for Australian retailers who are struggling to compete globally – if they bring another major brand through another country this is parallel importing (heavily frowned upon and can get them in trouble with local distribution processes), however consumers are doing it on a micro scale every single day.
2. Rain Rain Rain – ln Queensland in particular, we have seen record rainfalls and consistently miserable weather. This discourages people from leaving their homes and heading to the shops. It’s easier for people to purchase something online in the comfort of their own home listening to their favourite music than it is to drive to a shop, listen to Christmas carols and perceivably fight the crowds. The simple fact is that if it’s miserable outside, people don’t necessarily have to go out there anymore.
3. Advertising – For the first time in a long time I am seeing mass online advertising through digital and non digital out-of-home (ooh) advertising. Companies like ‘eBay’ are pumping huge amounts of money into advertising their way of shopping. Add to that the fact that most shops will have an eBay store as well as their own online shop front and more and more people will jump online.
It would seem that the stars have aligned this year and that a ‘tipping point’ may be occurring – where it’s not just young people buying online, it’s everyone; and it’s not just random or occasional purchases, but it’s top of mind for a lot of purchases.
Are you selling your product online?
Are you buying products online from overseas?