Websites prove lucrative for Australian retailers

Published on Fri, 20/11/2009, 10:41:18

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By Lizz Summerell
  
Many Australian retailers are taking their trade online and making thousands of dollars a month.
 
Recent success has been achieved online by women’s fashion retailer Witchery by doing just that: Witchery’s online store is now the fourth most profitable for the company.
 
More than 12 months ago, Witchery relaunched its website at a cost of approximately $100,000.
 
Only two months later, the company received a return on its investment and the website now earns over $90,000 a month.
 
“It’s a strategy and not about online taking away from the stores; it’s about the two of them working together,” says Iain Nairn, CEO of Witchery Holdings, who is keen to emphasise that the two channels can support rather than detract from one another.
 
Recent research from Google and the Australian Centre of Retail Studies shows that consumers don’t purely use websites for purchasing but also for the gathering of ideas and information.
 
Witchery is acutely aware of this fact and has effectively established online communication with customers via social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
 
“People use [websites] as research to see what they’re going to buy in-store, so it’s really contributing to their offline stores as well,” says Karson Stimson, director of the digital agency WeAreDigital.
 
WeAreDigital counts Witchery as one of its clients and has helped the company gather an online database of more than 130,000 customers.


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