The online retailing revolution is upon us. The real question for many business owners is are you keeping up with the changes?
eBay said its fourth quarter ended 31 December increased 5 per cent to US$2.5 billion, which contributed to a full year revenue of US$9.2 billion.
Speaking to Retailbiz, Daniel Feiler, eBay Australia spokesperson, said it's clear that there's a customer shift from traditional shopping to online. Mr Feiler went onto say that "More and more people are shopping online and while online shopping makes up only 3 to 5 per cent of total retail sales it's growing fast."
In the US, the ebay family of apps that includes Milo and RedLaser have been downloaded 33 million times. This technology is starting to arrive in Australia and if you are a retailer - Watch Out! You need to start changing your business model. Apps such as RedLaser allow a person to scan a product bar code with their phone and the app then searches ebay for the cheapest prices.
Even more interesting is a new Australian version which is about to send shoppers an SMS style alert if they are near a store that has the items they normally purchase on sale.
The problem is that if you as a retailer do not even know this technology exists your customers are starting to outsmart you and you are not even participating in this online revolution. It is going on without you even knowing about it. I think this is really scary and it will see many retailers fail over the coming years.