David Jones and Myer face big challenges as they deal with lacklustre consumer demand in Australia, a shift in household spending away from merchandise to what the retailers call experiences – lattes instead of crockery, say, or a plane ticket instead of a new suitcase – and the expansion of internet retailing.
They are, however, making a pretty good fist of a task that many observers believed would be beyond them. The price gap between them and overseas online retailers is closing, and it seems it is doing so without creating a profit sinkhole.
More than three-fourths of online shoppers in four Asian countries are dissatisfied with their online purchases upon receiving them, says a survey by the Tokyo-based Rakuten Inc.
The Rakuten Smart Shopping Survey said 78 percent of 2,000 online shoppers in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan in the past 12 months were unhappy with the end result, showing the need for better product quality and greater details.
Gmarket, South Korea's top online retailer owned by eBay Korea, is ramping up efforts to repeat its success story in the mobile shopping business.
The company launched the nation's first mobile shopping app in 2009. Since the launch, its mobile business has seen annual growth of 30 percent, the company said. Now the division makes up 9 percent of total sales.
Gmarket attributes the strong performance to an early bet on the mobile shopping trend and pledges to continue new experiments.
Chinese consumers are responding to a powerful new marketing tactic that plays to a widespread fear of food contamination – the promise of safe groceries sold online.
Pledging produce direct from the farm, vendors have found food is becoming one of the fastest-growing segments of Internet retailing as they cash in on scares from cadmium-tainted rice to recycled cooking oil.
Indian online supermarkets seem to be going the Amazon way in expanding their presence. Online start-ups such as LocalBanya.com, BigBasket.com and AaramShop.com are looking to move from their home turf to multiple cities to tap local markets.
The US online giant recently expanded its grocery supplies to California from Seattle in a bid to break open grocery market there. It is expected to spread the business further across the US.
LimeRoad, an online shopping site for women, will expand its operations to the US and UK by June-July to tap the growing market of online women buyers. It also plans to expand its operations in 23 countries in the coming months to tap the growing market of online women buyers. LimeRoad Founder and CEO Suchi Mukherjee told PTI the US and the UK as the markets there offer very promising opportunities for the company.
China is set to become the world's largest online retail market this year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, but this isn't stopping China's e-tailers from expanding to all corners of the globe.
India was home to the fastest growing online market among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations last year, growth that is fuelling a booming e-commerce market.
The number of unique online visitors in India grew 50 percent in the 12 months to November 2012, according to internet analytics firm comScore, outpacing the likes of China and Brazil, which grew just 2 to 3 percent each.
While e-commerce companies have plunged into ever-increasing competition in the Chinese domestic market, some are trying their luck outside China to find other ways to fuel growth. A number of Chinese e-commerce players, including Jingdong Mall, dubbed China's amazon.com, and online clothing retailer Vancl (Beijing) Technology Co., have already stretched their reach globally with different approaches.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, the world's biggest jewellery retailer by market value, said on Thursday it is targeting e-commerce as a pillar of future growth after online sales tripled in the first half.
The Hong Kong-listed company, despite posting a disappointing slump in six-month profit, was also upbeat about a near-term pick-up in China's luxury spending and the prospect of strong longer-term demand due to increasing wealth and spending power in smaller cities.