We’ve partnered with Tamebay to bring you a 10 part video series on how to expand your e-commerce business internationally. In this video, we’ll take a look at why online retailers should take advantage of selling online in the southern hemisphere.
Australia’s catching up on online shopping. According to Australia Post, Australians spent $21.3 billion online in 2017, up 18.7 % versus 2016. That accounts for about 8% of traditional retail sales, which excluding cafes and restaurants, adds up to $267.4 billion in 2017. As for their neighbouring country New Zealand, with 86% Internet penetration and nearly 2 million online shoppers, NZD 1.3 billion is spent by New Zealanders on websites based overseas, while the US, Australia and the UK are the most popular destinations for cross-border ecommerce purchases.
And here are our reasons why you should be selling to the southern hemisphere:
#1 Tolerance to long delivery time
Typical Australian buyers are less likely to find fault with longer shipping times; they’re well aware that the geographical distance has a considerable impact. What this means for you as a seller is that if your items get there quickly, Australians will probably be impressed and more likely to come back for more. Put aside those fears of losing buyers due to longer shipping times but keep them reasonable – a week longer than your domestic market will be acceptable, three weeks unacceptable.
#2 Limited Product Source
Online shoppers in Australia and New Zealand are used to purchasing their outfits and fashion accessories from international sellers, as they look for greater brand and product variety that local online retailers can’t offer. This certainly means that fashion lovers in the southern hemisphere are also more likely to paying higher online retail prices, covering the full cost of shipping to put their hands on products they can’t get hold of at home.
#3 Opposite Seasons
Believe it or not, Australia and New Zealand do have winters. In Canberra and Tasmania, temperatures often drop well below 0°C, so it’s not just the Europeans who will benefit from cosy thermals and other winter wear.
What to do with those shorts that sold so well throughout the British summer? Give them another chance in the southern hemisphere!
#4 Little Translation / Localisation Effort
One of the most expensive parts of setting up a new international business in a non-English speaking country can be the process of both translating and localising your items into foreign languages. For Australia and New Zealand you don’t have to translate titles, bullet points, description, descriptive texts in images or attributes such as colours or material from your UK account. Localisation of prices and sizes is normally enough.