Tasmanian retailers embrace e-commerce to reach new markets

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Tasmania has recorded the highest retail sales growth of all the states in the last financial year as more business owners embrace the benefits of having a physical and online point of sale.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) reveal the states retail sales grew by 4.6 percent, followed by Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory with 3.9 percent and 3.8 percent growth.

This trend follows a recent report conducted by the University of Melbourne which reveals small and medium businesses will contribute an additional $4 billion to the Australian Gross Domestic Product each year following the completion of the national broadband network (nbn) rollout with e-commerce listed as the largest driver of business efficiency.

Australian Retailers Association Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman says the growth can be attributed to strong tourism numbers and a shifting retail landscape with more businesses appreciating the value of a multi-channel business model and growing online activity.

“Customers will always value the ability to shop at their own convenience and with a new host of online advancements enabling retailers to merge online and offline shopping worlds, Tasmanian products are more accessible than ever.”

nbn’s Executive General Manager of Business, Ben Salmon says universal access to fast broadband is encouraging more Australian business owners to embrace online sales systems to increase productivity, lower costs, improve customer service and access new markets.

“Many small businesses now have the necessary tools to get online. We’re already seeing examples of traditional retail businesses utilising the nbn to develop an online presence to market their business and reach new customers outside of their local town.”

Local Tasmanian retailer, Smitten Merino decided to combine a shop front and online store to ensure they could cater to customers across the country and internationally, as well as their local city.

“Our store supports local suppliers with all products sourced, designed and manufactured in Tasmania. Hobart isn’t a big city and in order to reach a larger customer base, I knew I had to develop an online store to remain competitive in the retail market” says Smitten Merino owner Nicola Mason.

“Having access to fast broadband is imperative to running my online store as I can easily access stock in real-time and seamlessly connect with my domestic and global customers and suppliers. “