Retailers E-Boom As JB Hi Fi, Dick Smith Fend Off Rivals
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Big name retailers are back, according to the latest Nielsen figures, with Woolies, JB Hi Fi and Dick Smith amongst the top visited sites last year.

And sellers that choose to ignore the net, do it at your peril, the stats counter warns. 

New figures show that some of the biggest names in electronics are fending off rivals in the online race for the consumer dollar. Online now account for 7 per cent of all retail transactions.    

Despite this relatively tame figure, the huge spike in online visitors is phenomenal – JB Hi Fi numbers almost doubled at 42 per cent to 916,000 as did Woolies, recording a whopping 48 percent rise to 1.4m visitors last year, which makes it one of the most visited Aussie e-stores.
 
“Traditional players” are finally making their mark in the online world, fending off competition from marginal players, Nielsen confirmed today. 

Dick Smith and Big W, both also owned by the Woolworths brand, as well as Officeworks, were also among the top ten most visited sites, according to Nielsen’s January traffic data 2011. A total of six Australian bricks and mortar retailers made the top ten list. 

Big W had 796,000 visitors hits while Dick Smith, who earlier this year confirmed it was experienced online growth, had slightly less traffic at 700,000. 

However, the figures relate to visitor numbers only and has no link with sales.  

One retail giant was also notably absent – Harvey Norman.  

 

Late last year and earlier this year its Chairman, Gerry Harvey, along with Myer, David Jones and Solomen Lew’s Just Group was involved in a major public attack on the government for its refusal to levy 10 per cent GST on online goods bought from foreign retailers. 

“Traditional retailers are the ones who have been driving this growth,” says Mark Higginson, analytics director for Nielsen Online. 

And any retailer who is ignoring this booming sales channel, do it at your peril, warns Higginson. 

“The whole global financial crisis and Harvey Norman debate may have had a big effect on this. 

“We’ve seen massive growth in online, and the mainstream retailers have gotten to a point where there is so much going on they can’t ignore it.”

However, despite Aussie retailers success, US sites Amazon and eBay still came out top of the pile with the latter garnering 5.5 million visitors in the past year, although the figure represents a slip back from previous years.

This is followed by Amazon who holds the number two spot with 2.1m Australian visitors. 

The stats monitor also pointed to another major trend: online group buying which it said was also another important way to boost online traffic.

“It’s suddenly a huge business model and shows how this all really works,” says Higginson.

The news comes as Nielsen points to the explosive growth of smartphone users who are choosing to access the net via mobile devices.

 

Nielsen’s latest consumer report shows that mobile internet reached 50% penetration amongst web surfers here, for the first time.

However, other mobile comms including tablets are also singled out as  a “potential gamer changer”, with the body confirming 8 per cent of online audiences here now own such a device.

As well as the staple computer, eReader, connected games devices and some other hybrid forms are also “likely to emerge” say Nielsen.