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Local retailers waking up to e-commerce opportunities

PayPal says new estimates show e-commerce will account for $37.7 billion worth of spending by 2013, as retailers begin to wake up to opportunities presented by the internet and invest more in online strategies.

According to PayPal’s Secure Insight: Changing the Way we Pay report, online commerce spending will reach $30.2 billion by the end of this year and grow at 12.2 percent throughout 2012-13.

With 97 percent of Australian internet users having now shopped online, PayPal says local retailers are finally waking up to online opportunities and plan to invest more in online strategies over the next year.

But having a website is no longer enough, according to PayPal managing director Frerk Malte-Feller, with consumers changing their online shopping habits more in the last year, than they did over the previous 15 years.

“The culmination of new technologies and new business models are radically altering the retail landscape as we know it. Consumers are connecting through local, digital, social and mobile channels that add relevance and convenience to their lives,”

Retailers need to recognise the opportunities these emerging channels represent, Malte-Feller suggests, as it allows them to boost engagement with customers.

Smartphone use behind growth

PayPal found the increasing use of smartphones accounts for much of the e-commerce growth, with ownership of internet enabled phones at 65 percent of the total handset market in Australia.

The company has seen a 430 percent year-on-year rise in mobile payments, and Malte-Feller said the platform is allowing customers and retailers to connect in new ways.

“Through new technologies merchants have opportunities to fast track the ‘place’ of purchase and generate new revenue streams.”

“In the last year we have seen a wealth of new business models emerge, that are re-defining the point of purchase. For example, QR codes allow traditional media to become a virtual storefront, social media and group buying allow merchants to interact with consumers in new ways and mobile applications are personalising consumers shopping experiences.”

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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