Half of Leading Australian Retail Brands Have Worried About Losing Business to International Competitors in the Past Year

The vast majority of respondents to a survey at SLI Connect Sydney (96 per cent) have taken action to ensure they remain relevant in an increasingly competitive market

Survey highlights

  • 67 percent of respondents say they have optimised their site for mobile and tablet to become more competitive in the past 12 months
  • One in five retailers have ventured into cross border trade
  • More than two thirds of retailers report that improving site search is a key priority this year
  • Almost four in five retailers have some level of sophistication in their site search

Sydney, Australia – 1 April, 2015 – Half of leading Australian retail brands believe the industry has become more competitive with international entrants taking market share, according to a survey from SLI Systems.

The survey, conducted at e-commerce summit SLI Connect AU in Sydney, determined the trends, challenges and opportunities online retailers expect to face over the coming year.

A growing fear of competition has led retailers to implement a number of changes to their e-commerce strategies in the challenging retail environment:

  • 67 percent have optimised their site for mobile and tablet
  • 50 percent have upgraded their e-commerce platform
  • 38 percent have offered free shipping
  • 21 per cent have started selling internationally

Mark Brixton, Regional Vice President, SLI Systems said, “The results show local retailers are concerned by the increased willingness of Australian shoppers to interact with international retailers.

“Successful retailers can offer the customer the same value, benefits and service options whether they’re shopping on a PC, in-store or on their mobile. International retailers are already doing a great job at this; the local brands that get this right will make a compelling case for Australians to shop closer to home.”

More than half of those surveyed are already on the right track, having identified the omnichannel experience as a key priority this year. Getting this mix right is just as important when it comes to converting sales. The results of the survey show more than 95 percent of retailers consider e-commerce to be the most effective channel for sales conversion, while just 46 percent selected bricks and mortar stores.

The survey found that 96 percent of online retailers recognise the important correlation between sales conversion and an effective site-search mechanism. This is supported by 71 percent of retailers that identified improving site search capabilities as a key business priority this year.

“Our survey found almost 80 percent of retailers already have some level of sophistication in their site search capability. It’s encouraging to see that so many businesses are leveraging the power of site-search to drive conversion rates for their business,” Mr. Brixton said.

Sophisticated site search capabilities include auto complete, accounting for spelling errors, reporting and others.

Duncan Brett, General Manager eCommerce, Bras N Things commented on the research findings: “Your brick and mortar store and your online store should be a joint force and not another source of competition. The integration of the online and offline customer experience is fundamental to our business. In order to remain competitive, we focus on creating a seamless and positive customer experience. The survey results show we’re not the only ones.”

The survey was conducted in Sydney on 31 March at SLI Connect, an invite-only summit for e-commerce thought leaders presented by SLI Systems, a global leader in e-commerce acceleration services.

About SLI Systems
SLI Systems (SLI.NZ) enables the world’s leading e-commerce retailers to accelerate sales by connecting shoppers with the products they’re most likely to buy. With offerings that include site search, navigation, merchandising, mobile, product recommendations and user-generated SEO, SLI is the most chosen cloud-based site search provider to U.S. Internet Retailer Top 1,000 retailers. The company’s patented technology continuously learns from the actions of visitors to deliver the most relevant results possible. Whether via PC, tablet or phone, a site powered by SLI delivers the kind of satisfying search experience that increases conversion rates, secures brand loyalty and results in higher order values. SLI operates on five continents. For more information, visit www.sli-systems.com.