Retailers are overlooking their regular wholesalers and sourcing merchandise from overseas manufacturers, in a bid to remain competitive during the online retailing boom.
New figures from global e-commerce website Alibaba.com indicate that over 70 percent of Australian enquiries are directed to businesses in China and the remaining 30 percent go to markets such as Hong Kong, India and Pakistan. This increased contact from Australian retailers is attributed to the significantly lower operational costs in these regions.
“This means Australian businesses are reducing their costs, increasing their profitability and improving the variety and quality of products which gives them a competitive advantage,” Alibaba.com Director International Business Development and Marketing Asia Pacific Daphnee Lee said.
Alibaba.com helps small businesses connect with customers and trusted suppliers around the world. With a strong international presence, more than 620,000 Australians regard the website as a viable business source.
Lee credits the strong Australian dollar for leading people to Alibaba.com and international manufacturers.
“We are seeing a rise in savvier Australian retailers who are taking advantage of the strong Aussie dollar and using the web to source their products at better prices and in turn improve their profits,” Lee said.
The most in-demand categories among Australian retailers are apparel, shoes, and fashion accessories. Alibaba.com lists apparel as the largest and fastest growing category in global Internet sales, which can be seen in the Australian figures.
“Traditional fashion retailers are doing it tough in the face of the online retailing boom and are realising if you can’t beat them, join them.”