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How to Sell Online in Australia

Understanding the eCommerce Landscape in Australia

The world of eCommerce has grown exponentially over the past few years, with the trend accelerating due to shifts in consumer behavior. Australia is no exception to this, with eCommerce sales hitting a staggering $47.9bn in 2022 (source: IBSworld). Despite the dominance of big players like the Coles Group, which racked up $38.6bn in sales in 2021 (source:, there’s still plenty of room for smaller businesses to stake their claim in this dynamic market.

The eCommerce Market in Australia

While the big players certainly take up a large share of the market, don’t let that discourage you. With an expected growth rate of 8.9% in 2022 (source: IBSWorld), there’s an ever-growing pool of customers to tap into. In fact, Australia is ranked as the 11th largest eCommerce market globally (source:, so the opportunities for success are vast.


Deciding What to Sell

When it comes to online selling, deciding what to offer is a crucial step. This decision will shape your business model, your marketing strategies, and ultimately, your success.

Products vs Services

There are two primary paths you can choose: selling a product or offering a service. Your decision will largely depend on your skills, your resources, and your target market’s needs. Both avenues have their unique advantages, and it’s not uncommon for businesses to incorporate a mix of both.

Product-based eCommerce

Product-based businesses can range from buying wholesale goods and reselling them, creating your own handmade items, or leveraging drop shipping or print-on-demand services. Even digital products, subscription models, or membership programs can be lucrative ventures.

Service-based eCommerce

On the other hand, service-based businesses essentially sell time. From naturopathy and garden maintenance to coaching, web design, or bookkeeping, the possibilities are vast. Considerations like your hourly rate and work capacity per week will factor into your potential revenue.

Service-based businesses can also scale through product offerings. For instance, a naturopath might offer essential oils, or a business coach could create an eBook in their speciality to sell online. The key is to offer products that complement your service and provide value to your clientele.


Understanding Your Target Market

Once you’ve decided on what to sell, the next step is to define who you’re selling to. Are you targeting a specific gender or age group? Will you sell locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally? Are you aiming to sell to retail or wholesale customers?

Retail Customers

Retail customers are abundant online, but so is the competition. It’s crucial to differentiate your offerings and hone in on your unique selling proposition (USP).

Wholesale Customers

Selling wholesale products to other businesses can be a lucrative route, requiring fewer, but larger, sales. The most successful businesses on platforms like Etsy sell products to other businesses, demonstrating the potential of this approach.


Setting Your Pricing and Costing

Understanding the cost of your product or service is crucial. It allows you to set a profitable retail price and ensures you’re running a business rather than maintaining a hobby. Always remember that the ultimate goal is to make a profit, which allows you to live and reinvest in your business.

Deciding Where to Sell

Consider starting by targeting Australian customers, as this will give you a chance to hone your online skills. Once you’ve established a solid customer base and refined your process, consider expanding your operations internationally.

Shipping: Australia or Internationally

Shipping is an integral part of any eCommerce business. It’s not just the cost of postage; it includes boxes, satchels, wrapping, and tape. It’s important to incorporate these costs into your sales price, as consumers now often expect free shipping.


Choosing Your eCommerce Platform

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is another important decision you’ll need to make. There are numerous options, including WordPress, Shopify, Big Commerce, Wix, Prestashop, Squarespace, and more.

Choosing the Right Webstore

When choosing your webstore, consider the features you need now and what you might need in the future. This includes the ease of use, available add-ons, and integrations with accounting systems, social media platforms, inventory management, drop shipping services, etc.


Mastering SEO and Owning Your Data

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a critical tool for eCommerce success. It’s how potential customers will find you online. In addition to SEO, owning and understanding your data is key. Utilise this data to refine your strategy, identify trends, and understand your customers better.


The Importance of Multi-Channel Marketing/Inventory Management

In today’s digital age, it’s not enough to simply have a website. You need to be present where your customers are. This means considering marketplaces, social media platforms, and search engines in your strategy. Furthermore, as your business grows, effective inventory management becomes increasingly crucial to your operation.


Automation and Drop Shipping

Automation and drop shipping can both be effective strategies to streamline your operations and maximise profitability. Automation can save you time on repetitive tasks, while drop shipping can eliminate the need for inventory management and reduce overhead costs.


Additional Considerations

Make sure your website has a comprehensive privacy policy, terms and conditions, refund policy, and FAQs section. Consider offering a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ option and ensure your website analytics are in place to track customer behavior. Don’t forget about compliance with GST and ensure proper cybersecurity measures are in place.

To conclude, a holistic approach encompassing all these elements can make your digital marketing journey successful. The key is to adapt, test, learn, and grow.

To delve deeper into these subjects, consider signing up for our upcoming webinars at NORTEC Business Connect. We offer a range of webinars covering various digital marketing topics that can help you scale your online business. Register today to secure your spot.

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