Global software company Zoho has announced its launch into the Australian market in a move hoped to help small retailers compete with their larger counterparts.  

The Indian company, which offers cloud-based enterprise software, on Monday announced its expansion into Australia, investing more than $40 million to create two data centres and establish an office in Byron Bay.

The company’s signature software suite is already being used by over 45 million users across more than 180 countries including retail giants Nike and Amazon, with more than 19,000 users in Australia and New Zealand.

But the company now has big plans to help small retailer’s find their competitive edge by helping them to take on customer experience software.

The move is good news for small retailers, managing director of Zoho for Australia and New Zealand Timothy Kasbe told Retailbiz, with the high cost of most cloud-based CRM software companies blocking most small retailers out of the market.

“The small guys are either getting sucked into marketplaces like Amazon or Alibaba and our belief is that small retailers need to have a very strong local presence, own their own online property to be able to have that presence and build their own loyalty globally and participate in bigger ecosystems that exits,” he said.

The software allows retailers to digitise their operations for as little as $1 a day, the company says – a fact they hope will help to bridge the divide between small and big retailers.

“There’s a huge disparity between the commercialisation of tech and consumers being ready to exploit the cloud as opposed to businesses offering them. My understanding is a lot of businesses aren’t offering the cloud because of the price.”

Mr Kasbe says the company’s presence in regional NSW is also hoped to help local retailers outside of the large cities.

“We are so thrilled about the opportunities this brings and we hope this encourages even more organisations to look at regional areas of Australia as viable locations to not only launch, but to grow their business,” he said.