I found out today that Myer have started to offer free shipping in Australia. This is a welcome step and a sign of the maturing of online retail in Australia.
The large department store and big box stores have largely ignored ecommerce for the past 15 years and have started to act after being faced with changing consumer behaviour and declining profits .
There is a long way to go. The David Jones online store has made big improvements but is a great example of getting a lot wrong.
Some retailers like Bunnings offer only store location tools and catalogue downloads. The catalogues are a prime example of Australian business taking the easy way out and not thinking about what’s good for the customer.
Who wants to navigate a printed catalogue online? It is a horrible user experience and only encourages customers to look elsewhere for better service and value.
I applaud Myer for being bullish about online retail in Australia and going for $50 million in annual sales. It is a great target and shareholders, customers, and the business will all benefit.