Australian online businesses are bullish about the coming year, according to eBay.com.au’s Online Business Index (OBI).
OBI is an annual survey of Australian businesses engaged in eCommerce, and was conducted by eBay in partnership with the Australian Government.
It found that 69 per cent of respondents amongst the largest sellers on eBay.com.au are ‘optimistic’ about the business outlook for 2011. This is an increase from 2010, and reflected in plans to increase staff from 4.4 paid employees on average to six over the next 12 months.
Despite this optimism, there are a number of challenges remaining in the space that these online retailers need to overcome. Chief among them (according to the research) is:
- 35 per cent faced issues with manufacturers/suppliers trying to prevent them from selling their goods on the Internet or on particular websites.
- 25 per cent were required to sell their products at or around a particular recommended retail price.
- 22 per cent experienced unexplained problems from manufacturers or suppliers which they suspect was due to selling their products over the Net.
Despite this the overall online retail climate remains strong, and is expected to grow further as the NBN is rolled out.
Australia-based eBay sellers sales grew 10 times faster than retail growth over the same period.
In a release, Senator Stephen Conroy said, "eCommerce has witnessed significant growth in this country, against the trend of the overall retail market.
"The Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have access to high speed broadband through the National Broadband Network so that all Australians have the opportunity to participate as both buyers and sellers.
“The Government is proud to partner with eBay to launch the Online Business Index."