Some of Australia's leading IT retailers may be up there with the best in the world but many others fall short in the crucial areas. Quality staff, customer interactivity and use of the Internet and catalogue-based direct marketing are not up to scratch in Australian stores, according to Sean Clancy, managing director of Creative Sales, a leading Sydney-based independent marketing and communications agency.
Having just completed a three-week, two-continent fact-finding mission to "put a benchmark on how the Australian retail industry shapes up" against their US, Canadian, UK and European counterparts, Clancy delivered a report card to ARN which included both good and bad news.
"On the whole Australian retailers should pat themselves on the back, because on a global basis we are quite sophisticated. Stores such as Harvey Norman, Myer-Grace Bros, Harris Technologies and Officeworks do an excellent job by international standards which is why they succeed," said Clancy.
However, Clancy also believes there are certain areas in which the local retail industry falls behind international trends and where some additional focus is needed.
"The next level that all retailers need to move to is increased use of interactive point-of-sale material while the use of direct marketing through catalogues and the Internet is an area that is used extensively by retailers overseas to expand their markets," he said.
Clancy is also of the opinion that success from delivering enhanced customer experience when visiting stores and increased focus on direct marketing is equally applicable to both small and large retail organisations.