The message has been coming through loud and clear for at least the last five years: if you’re a retailer then you need to have an online presence. However, many SME retailers are still stuck in bricks and mortar.
This article contains affiliate links, which means The Register may earn a commission if a reader clicks through and purchases an item or a service. This commission will result in no extra cost to the reader, and does not influence our independent journalism in any way.
According to Nielsen’s latest report, two thirds of Kiwis shopped online in the last year – this figure is expected to hit 83 percent by 2026. As well as shopping, consumers are increasingly using the internet to do pre-purchase research, with three in five New Zealanders using their smartphone or tablet in store before buying.
New research from NZ Post indicates that New Zealanders spent $3.6 billion online in 2017, which was 8.1 per cent of the equivalent total New Zealand retail spend.
With local retailers’ online revenues increasing faster than bricks and mortar sales, getting online has never been more attractive.
However, it turns out that a sizeable number of SME retailers are falling behind the ecommerce boom. MYOB’s 2016 Business Monitor survey reported that just 42 percent of rural SME businesses had an online presence.
The retailers in this group are really missing out, as the NZ Post research indicated regional shoppers spent more online than any other customer. Each shelled out more than $2500 with online retailers in 2017.
Shopify is one of the many software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms set up to smooth the process of getting online for SME retailers. It was first started 12 years ago in Canada as a store selling snowboard equipment, and has been built into a cloud-based, multi-channel ecommerce platform hosting over 600,000 active stores worldwide.
Retailers can use Shopify’s simple software to design, set up and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media and more. Pricing starts at just $44 per month.
If you’d like a chance to take Shopify for a test-drive, sign up here for a free 14-day trial.