As the Christmas shopping stampede begins new figures reveal little more than $3 stays in the economy when people buy online, yet Australian shoppers are flocking to the web in ever greater numbers.
Australia Post announced on Friday it is expecting people to buy 30 per cent more gifts online this Christmas, with two million parcels to be delivered every day at season’s peak.
The City of Greater Bendigo is urging people to shop locally, releasing figures showing that for every $100 spent here, an estimated $70 stayed in the Bendigo region’s economy.
The figures, compiled by economic data specialist REMPLAN, also estimated that half of what people spent at chain stores stayed local.
Only $3.12 stayed when people shopped online, with no wages or operating costs flowing back into the community.
Toyworld Bendigo owner Scott Mills said Christmas could be a difficult season for those trying to compete against online groups, and that many in the community did not realise how much those at bricks and mortar stores could hurt.
“Eventually, if goes the way it is going, Bendigo will be shut. Only cafes will be around and people will not be able to go in store to buy shoes, toys or what have you,” he said.
Games and toys were the most popular online purchases over Christmas, Australia Post’s research showed.
The Toyworld buying group had introduced a website to compete, but Mr Mills understood most sales into Bendigo were still done in store.
While it was impossible to get it right 100 per cent of the time, Mr Mills said the store competed against online rivals by focusing on competitive pricing and strong customer service.
It also relied on people having the chance to come into the store to get a feel for products.
Frankie & Co was among the businesses that had prioritised an online presence. Manager Anna Jessie said the goal had been to make it as seamless as possible for people to research what they want on their website, then come in store to try things on an pick up purchases.
Nearly 40 per cent of people were buying fashion and jewellery online over Christmas, the Australia Post research showed.
However, Ms Jessie said not every fashion business were looking for sales online.
“A lot of stores, especially around country Victoria, don’t have a website and rely heavily on community,” she said.
“And a lot of people are community minded. But if stores don’t have what they want, people aren’t going to purchase there.”
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