No doubt, e-commerce is in Australia for the long haul. In the 2019 industry report, online spending accounted for 10% of the overall retail sales in 2018. That’s two percentage points higher than in 2017. Year over year, the Aussies spent over $25 billion, a 24% increase.
Meanwhile, Statista revealed that e-commerce revenue could achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 6% from 2020 to 2024. By the end of the forecast period, the market volume could grow to $32 billion. User penetration could increase from around 70% in 2020 to over 75% within four years.
Australian businesses, both big and small, need to embrace e-commerce if they don’t want to get left behind. However, it also demands critical decision making. For newbies, that can be overwhelming.
For those new to e-commerce, these FAQs can help them decide correctly for their business:
#1 Do I Need a Website Designer or a Web Developer?
The answer is both. Many people confuse web design and web development for a good reason: these roles are interrelated. But web design is all about aesthetics and user experience. A Shopify web developer, for example, creates the structure or foundation of the site. They use logical thinking and programming codes to accomplish that.
The good news is, usually, a web development team also includes web designers. Agencies can also offer packages that already combine both, which saves e-commerce business owners time and money.
#2 What Is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
Just because a website is accessible on mobile devices doesn’t mean it’s already mobile-friendly. To achieve such distinction, a website must display the following characteristics:
- The layout and content don’t change regardless of the orientation and size of the screen.
- The content is the same, whether a person accesses the site on desktop or mobile.
- The page loads fast.
- The site is responsive. For example, users can zoom in quickly if they pinch the screen.
Why does a site have to be mobile-friendly? More Australians are not only active mobile device users. They are also using their smartphones and tablets for shopping. According to the 2019 Deloitte report, mobile has officially surpassed desktop as the preferred method of buying. Over 20% of Australians shop online using mobile.
The rapid growth of mobile use prompted Google to adopt mobile-first indexing. It means when they gather pages to display in the search results, they look at those on mobile versions than on desktop. Mobile performance is also a ranking factor, which affects how your site shows up on search engines.
#3 Should My Brand Also Have an App?
An app is a software platform or program that a user needs to download in their mobile devices. Examples are Instagram, WhatsApp, and Netflix. It has a different structure, look and feel, and even purpose than a website.
This then begs the question, should an e-commerce site have an app too? The answer is both yes and no. It depends on many factors:
- Mobile traffic –If mobile traffic is increasing, it is time to consider having an app. It could mean the market is ready to interact with the brand in this channel.
- Demographics –Apps are more popular among the younger generations, such as millennials and Generation Z.
- Customer relationship –E-commerce apps work best if both the customers and the brand already have a strong relationship. For instance, consumers are already aware of what the company is offering and they’re ready to buy.
Deciding for an e-commerce business isn’t easy. These FAQs, however, could help point owners in the right direction.