Since the launch of Amazon Australia at the end of 2017, there’s been an increasing focus on the huge ecommerce opportunities for international businesses in Australia. Despite being on the other side of the world, with long shipping times and other logistical issues, there are a whole host of positive factors about why you should consider expanding your retail business to Australia.
Online shopping in Australia
Australia’s online retail sector is booming; in 2017 Australians spent an estimated $23.4 billion shopping online, and with over 90% of the population online, and a rapid increase in mobile shoppers, there’s a lot of room for growth.
Despite its vast size, Australia has a high standard of logistical infrastructure, and 85% of the population live in urban areas - so shipping is fairly straightforward.
It’s also a great opportunity for international ecommerce businesses, as up to 63% of Australians will buy from overseas - they’re looking for lower prices and more product diversity.
Ecommerce sites in Australia
The top five ecommerce sites in Australia are: eBay AU, Gumtree AU, Amazon, OzBargain, and recently launched Amazon AU. Most of these sites accept payments by credit and debit cards, while PayPal is less common, but real-time bank transfers are a popular payment method.
Australian Goods and Services Tax
One of the key things to be aware of if you’re thinking of expanding your retail business to Australia is the new Goods and Services Tax. In response to the rise of online, particularly international, sales, Australia’s government has brought in GST registration requirements for low value imported goods.
From 1 July 2018, international retailers will have to register for GST if you are:
- Operating a business
- And, your GST turnover from sales connected with Australia, and made in the course of your enterprise, meets or exceeds the A$75,000 threshold (based on turnover for the current month and previous 11 months, or projected turnover for the next 11 months)
Non-residents can complete a simplified, electronic registration for GST. Find out more about Australian GST for non- residents here.
Amazon.com was already one of the top retail sites in Australia, so the launch of Amazon Australia at the end of 2017 was highly anticipated.
Initially, Amazon Australia launched without any of the other Amazon services, but the first FBA warehouse south-east of Melbourne, now allows businesses to store their products to be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. International businesses can sell on Amazon Australia using the FBA warehouses to store products in bulk and drastically cut down their delivery times when an order is placed.
Amazon Prime is yet to be launched in Australia, however, products that are already being delivered by FBA should be eligible when it does.
Amazon’s also recently announced that Australian shoppers will no longer be able to use any of the international Amazon sites after 1 July (in light of the new GST requirements) - so if you already sell to Australia through Amazon.com, or you’re considering it, it might be worth assessing listing products directly on Amazon Australia.
Find out more about Amazon Australia here.
eBay in Australia
Selling on eBay Australia is just as simple as selling on any of eBay’s international sites: you can either add international postage options to your eBay UK listings, or you can list products directly on the eBay Australia site. Find out more about selling internationally on eBay here.
Since Amazon’s arrival, eBay Australia has taken steps to become more competitive: eBay Plus subscription feature, which is similar to Prime, is now available, and items that can be delivered in under three days are highlighted as Guaranteed Delivery in search results. To qualify for either of these your stock needs to be stored in Australia so that you can deliver in time.
eBay will continue to allow Australian shoppers to purchase from global marketplaces - applying GST to overseas purchases from 1 July.
Overall, despite the complications of long distance shipping, storing stock, and meeting tax requirements, Australia offers a huge opportunity for online retailers looking to expand abroad. Find out more about the benefits of selling internationally here.