Govt Likes Online Retailing

  • Govt launches Digital Business website
  • Govt believes there is a lot of support in community
  • No estimate on job losses

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy today welcomed the decision by the Australian Retailer's Association to host a seminar encouraging local retailers to get online.

"By getting online, retailers can enjoy greater efficiencies, expand their customer base and increase their revenues," Senator Conroy said.  "Many online retailers say a website is a 24/7 sales channel that can make them money while they are sleeping – a dream for most business owners. The Australian Retailers Association's Engage with E-tailing seminar is a welcome example of how industry can take steps to maximise the benefit of the digital economy for all Australians."

The Gillard Government has taken a number of steps to assist businesses, particularly small businesses, to get online. The Digital Business website has been launched and is providing practical guidance to establishing an online presence; the Government has invested $14 million in grants through the Small Business Online program to help train up local business owners and the Minister recently hosted the Online Retail Forum to promote industry dialogue about the opportunities, challenges and solutions for a more vibrant online retail sector in Australia.

"Successfully maximising the benefits of the digital economy for all Australian businesses requires collaboration between Government and industry. That's why I welcome this proactive step by the Australian Retailers Association," Senator Conroy said.

It will provide retailers with the tools, training and information they need to start interacting with their customers online. Topics to be discussed include developing a digital strategy, optimising shopping cart conversions and how to market your business to overseas online customers.

"Research conducted  by the Australian Communications and Media Authority found most Australian online consumers have purchased from a local business and want to support Australian businesses online," Senator Conroy said. "This suggests there is tremendous potential here for Australian retailers."

What about the retail sector jobs it will cost and what about the collection of GST, especially if some retailers set up a warehouse overseas and start selling there?