Bricks and clicks: broadband boosts Tasmanian retail sector
Tasmanian retailers embrace e-commerce to reach new markets
Tasmania has recorded the highest retail sales growth of all the states in the last financial year as more business owners embrace the benefits of having a physical and online point of sale.
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) reveal the states retail sales grew by 4.6 per cent, followed by Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory with 3.9 percent and 3.8 percent growth*.
This trend follows a recent report conducted by the University of Melbourne which reveals small and medium businesses will contribute an additional $4 billion to the Australian Gross Domestic Product each year following the completion of the nbn™ network rollout with e-commerce listed as the largest driver of business efficiency**.
Australian Retailers Association Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman says the growth can be attributed to strong tourism numbers and a shifting retail landscape with more businesses appreciating the value of a multi-channel business model and growing online activity.
“Customers will always value the ability to shop at their own convenience and with a new host of online advancements enabling retailers to merge online and offline shopping worlds, Tasmanian products are more accessible than ever.”
nbn’s Executive General Manager of Business, Ben Salmon says universal access to fast broadband is encouraging more Australian business owners to embrace online sales systems to increase productivity, lower costs, improve customer service and access new markets.
“Many small businesses now have the necessary tools to get online. We’re already seeing examples of traditional retail businesses utilising the nbn™ network to develop an online presence to market their business and reach new customers outside of their local town.”
Local Tasmanian retailer, Smitten Merino decided to combine a shop front and online store to ensure they could cater to customers across the country and internationally, as well as their local city.
“Our store supports local suppliers with all products sourced, designed and manufactured in Tasmania. Hobart isn’t a big city and in order to reach a larger customer base, I knew I had to develop an online store to remain competitive in the retail market” says Smitten Merino owner Nicola Mason.
“Having access to fast broadband is imperative to running my online store as I can easily access stock in real-time and seamlessly connect with my domestic and global customers and suppliers. “
There are more than 3 million homes and businesses around the country which can already connect to the nbn™ network with every Australian set to have access by 2020.
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Notes to editors
- *Australian Bureau of Statistics 8501.0 Retail Trade, Australia, June 2016: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/8501.0Main+Features1Jun%202016?OpenDocument
- **Research performed at the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) at the University of Melbourne. For a detailed summary of the research, see the CEET White Paper Economic Benefit of the National Broadband Network, available at http://ceet.unimelb.edu.au/publications/downloads/ceet-economic-impact-nbn.pdf. In this press release, the emphasis is specifically on the benefits from e-commerce and cloud computing for small and medium enterprises.
- nbn is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
- Fast broadband like that delivered via the nbn™ network can provide a range of benefits for Australians such as opportunities to work from home, access to online education tools and options for on-demand entertainment.
- End-user experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to and end user’s premises and some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how the end-user’s service provider designs its network.