2014 marks the sixth year that ChannelAdvisor has participated in the Professional eBay & eCommerce Sellers Alliance (PeSA) Internet Conference. During that time, it’s been great to see the evolution of the Australian e-commerce landscape and the growing acuity of retailers in attendance. In the passage of a mere three to four years, we’ve seen conversations move from “I’m thinking of going online” to “I’m already online and selling through eBay — where to next?”
In a standout session, Jooman Park, country manager for eBay Australia and New Zealand, spoke candidly about eBay’s recent hacking, conceding imperfection and outlining the challenges the company faced. This conversation was decidedly well-received by the audience. Park went on to summarise new eBay initiatives for the year and into the future, including the much-anticipated Click & Collect service that will launch in Australia this October.
What I always enjoy the most at PeSA is talking with a cross-section of our customers, partners and new retailers, as well as delving into emerging and growing industry trends for the year ahead. Here are a few to watch:
- Cross-Border Trade: Given his eight years leading eBay Korea, Park brought a unique perspective to the opportunities in cross-border trade (CBT), encouraging retailers not to put it in the “too hard basket”. While CBT may seem daunting, retailers should take comfort in knowing that better shipping infrastructures and increased customer comfort with online shopping have reduced many of the complexities involved with entering overseas markets.
- Mobile: According to Google, at 65%, Australia is one of the top countries in the world in smartphone penetration. And with m-commerce accounting for 40% of Australians’ online spend, there’s now a surge of retailers optimising their mobile sites and seeing real-time conversions as a result.
- Social: Retailers are finding that social media is increasingly impactful and important, but not necessarily a conversion tool. Social is where the conversation starts and remains a useful avenue for brand awareness and promotion. But there’s a persistent difficulty in moulding it into a viable sales channel.
- Millennials: Understanding the psychology and behaviours of this digitally native demographic is essential. Millennials are prepared to do the legwork to find the perfect product, with 72% researching online before making an in-store purchase. It’s therefore important for retailers to showcase their products across every touch point to ensure visibility and a better chance of conversion. Unlike the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations, Millennials don’t mind being tracked online: 60% are willing to provide personal information to marketers, and 29% even expect personalised messaging focused on previously browsed products.
When crafting the presentation I gave at the conference — ‘Conversation to Conversion’ — I wanted to share my thoughts on the key strategy that ties these seemingly disparate threads together: multichannel.
Retailers are increasingly seeing the value of expanding beyond their webstore and adopting more dynamic approaches in their marketing efforts. At the same time, many still experience difficulty in mastering the basics of optimised product content and built-out data feeds, inhibiting seamless transfers to new channels. With consumers coming from different devices, different e-commerce channels, and even different regions, being visible across the web is crucial.
In my session, I also delved into:
- The size of the market in Australia and globally
- What today’s shoppers want
- And how to create a streamlined e-commerce approach
For all the details, check out the full PDF of my presentation below. Already looking forward to next year!
Blog post Mark Gray, ChannelAdvisor managing director, APAC
Download the full presentation – Conversation to Conversion – from the 2014 PeSA Internet Conference