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The Australian economy ranks as the 13th largest in the world and the 5th largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region. Rates of GDP per capita in Australia make its citizens among the top 5 richest in the world, so this is a ripe market filled with consumers who have disposable income to spend. Many British businesses are already well embedded in the Australian market and have established a degree of trust with Australian consumers, from HSBC and British Airways, to BT and BP.
This has paved the way for other British brands to follow on behind. Technology is a particularly strong sector of the Australian market and there is an increasing demand for international food and drink, particularly high end products.
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world and there are vast areas of its lands with only a sparse population. The most heavily populated cities are Sydney (5m+), Melbourne (4m+), Brisbane (2m+) and Perth (2m+). Together, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane account for around 50% of the entire population of the country so these are key target areas in terms of finding your customers.
Australian consumers have become increasingly more familiar with e-commerce over the past five years and, as a result, the popularity of online shopping has grown at speed. The fashion industry is doing particularly well - around 20% of all online purchases made in Australia are for fashion, footwear and accessories - and clothing retail sales online are forecast to grow at around 1.5% a year with a value of AUD 20.6 billion by 2021/22.
The UK is 7th in the list of Australia's two-way trading partners
With firm ties to the British culture, Australia and New Zealand offer an excellent opportunity for British online retailers to export to. Find out more in the eBook.Download Now
The Delivery Advantage, a Temando report on e-commerce shipping strategies, found that 92% of Australians spent up to AUS $500 monthly online. While local businesses still dominate the e-commerce market in Australia, there is an openness to change and more people are looking to buy from overseas sellers. 69% of Australian digital buyers already make cross border purchases and this figure is forecast to increase.
In 2016, the Australian e-commerce Market was home to the second largest online population in the Asia-Pacific region. E-commerce is a serious growth sector in this part of the world – so much so that since 2012, Australia has even had its own version of Cyber Monday – ‘Click Frenzy.’ This takes places on the third Tuesday in November and represents a huge opportunity for retailers looking to offer discounts to attract new customers.
Australian consumers don’t have the same expectations as British or European consumers do when it comes to free shipping - 44% of Australian retailers share the cost of shipping with the customer but around a third expect the customer bear the full cost. However, as 85% of Australians in The Delivery Advantage survey admitted to abandoning a cart for reasons related to shipping – and 70% of these were due to high shipping costs – this might be an issue that retailers need to address.
Australians also expect to have a wide selection of delivery options to choose from – 83% of Australians expect ultra versatile options such as weekend delivery. Currently, the three most popular shipping options offered by local competitors are Standard (5-7 days), express (1-3 days) and click & collect.
81% of consumer online spending currently goes to local e-commerce businesses
Items such as gas and electrical goods should be designed to meet Australian safety and technical standards. The Department of Immigration and Border Control specifically advises Australian consumers to look out for this standard so it could be an obstacle to market entry if your products don’t measure up.
Imports into Australia are dealt with by the Australian Customs Service and all imported goods must clear customs no matter how they arrive in the country. A 10% Goods and Services Tax is payable on goods and services in Australia and this may also apply to some imported products - although this depends on the item in
question, as well as where it has been shipped from. Low value goods are classed as any worth less than AUD1,000 – there is usually no duty or taxes to pay on these. Items that are worth more than AUD1000 may attract fees and taxes and must be accompanied by an import declaration that specifies what is in the package – this declaration attracts a processing charge.
Have you ever considered Australia as a potential market for your e-commerce business? E-commerce Europe’s new report reveals everything you need to know about this highly unique country in the Asia-Pacific region, including the latest retail facts and figures.Download