Retailbiz Round Up for Friday 17 January 2013 – with Andrew Jackson
Today's ASX results are here

Same day delivery hits Brisbane! A Brisbane based online fashion retailer has been contracted by Australia Post to be the first retailer to use their newly launched 2u2day service, a delivery option that lets residents of the Queensland capital receive their goods on the day they ordered them. 

Beginning Boutique, an online retailer offering fashion-forward and affordable items to local and international customers, was selected for partnership due to their already existing efficient dispatch operations, along with their large and ‘cult-like’ fan base. 

The retailer experienced a 150 percent jump in sales in the past year and has substantial followings on both Facebook and Instagram. Telstra Young Business Women nominee and owner of Beginning Boutique, Sarah Timmerman, said that it was all owing to the world class customer service that the niche boutique provides:

“Customer service has always been the thing that I wanted [Beginning Boutique] to stand out for. Providing our local customers with free same day shipping extends our already exceptional customer service and puts us on par, if not ahead of physical stores.”

Maintaining such a quick and efficient delivery system will be difficult but marketing manager Greer Alson, ays that the retailer is up for the challenge. 

"There is the potential for fall-throughs with the couriers, and we need to prepare the team for new systems to meet new cut off times," she said. "However, the benefits for customers (even if it is only available for those in Brisbane) are worth the extra work for the company and despite potential hassles. We will always do our best to put our customer first and aim to give them the best experience.”

The service, which will launch alongside 2u2day on 21 January, will only be available to those in selected suburbs of the Brisbane, Redland and Logan City Councils and applies to orders made before 10am. 

Beginning Boutique is not the only Australian fashion retailer to embrace the same day delivery trend. NSW based The Iconic began offering 3 hour same day delivery to selected Sydney-area residents in early 2013, a service that still continues.

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Straight from the suppliers door to the retail floor! Having goods arrive on site in ready-to-sell displays and packaging is becoming increasingly more common. The latest offering in this trend comes from Loscam, an Australian packaging and storage company, who have begun supplying a new display pallet designed to be taken right off the truck and displayed in store.

Loscam developed the new system after consultation with major participants in the supply chain of the FMCG manufacturing and supply sector. Featuring a smaller footprint than traditional pallets or displays, the display pallet is also more structurally sturdy and OHS compliant.

Michael Donahoo, head of customer solutions at Loscam, said that the new design was a great advance over traditional pallets and, “The fact that it can carry significantly more weight and the ergonomic design minimises risk of OHS issues” will only benefit Australian businesses.

Don’t thank The Academy, thank your community! Nominations are now open for the Telstra Australian Business Awards, Australia's biggest and most prestigious small to medium business honours. 

Any Australian-run business below 200 employees can be nominated, provided they are over 60 percent Australian owned and are not more than half owned by another business. Once nominated, the business must then be officially entered into the running by answering a comprehensive exam designed to evaluate their ventures.

Winning either a State or National award can have a big impact on a small business, according to Peter Strong, executive director of The Council of Small Business Australia.

“When a business wins an award, it’s really special because someone has encouraged it to enter and it’s an award for the people in the business – the owner and the employees,” Strong said.

Julie Nichols, creative director of Shop Handmade Canberra, winner of the 2013 ACT StartUp Award, is urging everyone to nominate their favourite local businesses.

Tap and go! Customers may soon be presenting their smartphones as payment, thanks to the new mobile app from the Commonwealth Bank. The CommBank app, now available on all smartphone platforms, allows people to link their main account to a special Near Field Communicator (NFC) much like the one found in new PayPass credit cards.

For Commonwealth Bank customers, this special NFC tag can be purchased from the bank for just under $3. The CommBank PayTag attaches to the back of a customer’s smartphone and can make secure, contactless payments up to $100. In a special deal struck with tech-giant Samsung, those who own the Galaxy S4 smartphone will not require a PayTag at all. Instead, the app will use NFC technology already present in the smartphone model to deliver payments.

Luckily for retailers this new system works with already existing PayPass technology found in most commercial card-readers, so no new equipment will be needed. All transactions using the CommBank PayTag are also protected by a 100 per cent security guarantee, offering high level protection and insurance against fraudulent activity. 

Quote of the Day

“Some industries have been affected more than others, with traditional media distribution, such as CDs, books, music, movies and of course news, hardest hit. The retail industry also continues to evolve, as the mobile-connected customer firmly dictates the rhythm of retail.”

A warning from John Boniciolli, Telstra Executive Director Small Business, that those who do not adapt to the new digital marketplace will get left behind. However, Boniciolli did advise that although online is fast becoming the king, Australian consumers still highly value customer service and personal relationships.

Image of the Day

Good news for Chocolate lovers and bad news for Nutella, American chocolate manufacturer Hershey Co. has released a range of chocolate spreads to directly compete with the more famous hazelnut treat. 

Video of the Day

IGA has released a new summer TVC campaign aimed at encouraging Australians to shop local this summer. The playful ad intertwines IGA and summer fun, and leaves this writer wishing that more supermarkets had waterslides.