This is the second in our series of guest articles taking a look at affiliate marketing in Australia. Our previous article looked at couponing and price comparison engines.This new article takes a look at what looks at what Australian businesses can do to win back their customers from international retailers and was written by Ashley Howe from the Australian site Flipit.
With many Australians shopping online with international retailers, the question of whether or not the Goods and Services Tax threshold of $1000 will be lowered is making big news. Reducing the GST could mean that an international internet purchases could cost up to 37% more for consumers. Big Australian retailers are currently pushing for it to be lowered to similar levels as the UK or Canada, and it would give local retailers a huge advantage with consumers.
However the GST threshold of $1000 is of course not the only reason that many Australians choose to shop with international retailers. The simple fact is, that prices abroad are lower – even with shipping costs. That, combined with more and more people travelling cheaply overseas, is why many international brands are outdoing their competition
So, what are the options for Australian retailers, in an increasingly competitive marketplace?
You could wait and see what happens: While the lowering of the GST threshold could get approved, it could be a long time before it is effectively implemented, and as a business you have to ask yourself if you can afford to wait for too long without taking any action at all.
You can put money into your website to improve your conversion rate optimization: This means you will improve the performance of your site (making it easier to use), and in turn maximize profits. It will make the most of the traffic that you already have to your site and will use analytics and user feedback to make improvements for the end user. There are several companies that offer this as a service.
Implement a new marketing strategy, and try it out for 6 months to a year: If you’re not already working on an affiliate marketing strategy it is something that you should seriously consider, particularly couponing. Not only does it inspire loyalty, it can mean that customers will spend a little more in your store.
Reduce your overheads and pass this on to the customer: The main reason that Australians are shopping abroad is because it’s cheaper. If you can afford to reduce your overheads (which can sometimes be difficult) and then pass on that saving on to your customer in some way (free shipping, lower pricing, or a better loyalty programme), then you might win back some of your customer base.
If you can’t afford to wait and see what happens, these points are all things that you can start doing right now. For those of you prepared to wait, the reality is that even if the GST threshold is decreased in the future, competition will increase within the Australian retail sector for customers.
Having the edge is the most important thing and working towards that now is key to success in the future. Do you have an active an engaged audience on social media? Is your website easy to use? Do you have a great marketing strategy? Can you do more for your customers?