No industry has benefitted more from the digital revolution than the retail industry of Australia. Online retail in the region continues to expand at a rapid pace with total revenue in 2015 crossing a whopping $19 billion, 9% more than the preceding year.
As the market expands continuously, it is also on a constant evolving phase as well.
During its expansion over the last five years, the online retail industry in Australia changed the way retail operations are carried out. This can be gauged from the fact that 35% of ecommerce transactions by the end of 2015 were completed on mobile devices.
According to male fashion retailer, Jackthreads, being mobile first and having strategies based on multi-platform is equally important as selling quality goods.
And that is exactly how the number one retailer in Australia has succeeded over the past years – though not many would be familiar with the company’s name.
Below is a list of the top 20 online retailers in Australia. I am sure not many of you would have heard a few of the names.
Growing out of a social blogging website called the Qwoff, Vinomofo has now become a full-fledged online retail business.
During the three year of its business, Vinomofo has really shaken up its market of operation.
Vinomofo, which was bought and sold by Catch of The Day in a span of a year, is a proud independent online retailer again making a turnover of over $10 million a year. Andre Eikmeir owes a part of this success to their time with Catch of The Day. However, he admits that they missed their independence and wanted to grow out of the daily deals model as offered by Catch of the Day.
HardToFind is one of the pioneers in the online industry, starting out at a time when customers were too scared to trust online stores with their credit cards.
Erika Stewart and Trudi Jenkins had a background in glossy magazines before they decided to start a curated online marketplace, HardToFind.
Stewart and Trudi are both working mothers and find it hard to go for shopping for quality stuff beyond the basic necessities. They felt they could fill this gap by creating an online store which would only sell the best quality stuff available.
When you go to HardToFind, you realize that only the name is HardToFind. Stewart and Jenkins have crafted a beautiful website and both the founders work hard to make small changes that leave a profound impact on converting visitors to buyers.
18. Adore Beauty
When Kate Morris started the online cosmetic business back in 2000, she was only 21 years old and ecommerce was still a suspicious business viewed from the consumer’s perspective.
When Morris started, online shoppers were out and about looking for the best prices. However, these days, the customers are well aware about the benefits of shopping online, like convenience and the freedom to choose their preferred products on their own terms. This is what Morris capitalized on with her store, Adore Beauty.
Ian McLellan, Boris Zaitsev, and Scott Gladstone are the co-founders of Klika. What is surprising is that all three of them launched their online home retailing business when they were in their mid-50’s and 40’s.
Eleven years later, at 66, 61 and 51 years old respectively, the three co-founders are all quite actively a part of the online $15 million plus e-tailing business that sells everything. Yes, everything.
McLellan, the current leader of Klika, put his experience from wholesale retailing to good use to take Klika excel on the online commerce front.
Back in May, 2014, British Billionaire Sir Philip Green purchased 25% stake in the online deals site, OzSale. This figure alone is enough to gauge the level of online commerce that OzSale is offering.
OzSale, which began its operation back in 2010, is currently valued well above $500 million approx. with an estimated turnover of over $175 million.
With a thumbs up from the TopShop’s top brass, further growth opportunities seem quite evitable.
ShowPo is one of the many online fashion retailers out there that have something for the fashion community. However, what sets ShowPo apart from its competition is its loyal community.
Jane Lu, the 27 year old co-founder, started ShowPo back in 2010 and saw the company grow steadily towards a turnover of more than $8 million.
With over 650,000 followers on Facebook, ShowPo uses the power of community to succeed in the e-tailing business. ShowPo is not your normal click to ecommerce store. It is a community powered portal which houses videos, bloggers, recipes, fashion shoots and information about photos from events.
14. Pet Circle
In 2011, Mike Frizell proved all the critics and naysayers wrong by starting an ecommerce store in the pet industry. Actually, the pet industry is a sector with bulky items and low margins, making it almost impossible for ecommerce businesses to kick-off.
But Mike Frizell had other ideas. He created a smart supply chain process that makes the Pet Circle business profitable. In only a few years since its inception, Pet Circle was able to garner an estimated $13 million in turnover along with other prestigious accolades.
Frizell attributes this success to the customer-first philosophy, which usually helps brick-and-mortar businesses to succeed.
Founded by twin sisters, Julie Stevanja and Sali Stevanja, Stylerunner struck a deal with the retail giant Lululemon only after being in business for two years with their activewear online retailer.
Julie Stevanja told SmartCompany the business was global in its ambitions from day one and pushed hard to get a first mover advantage.
Starting from London, the sister soon realized that the Stylerunner can easily cater the global market. Owing to this vision, Stylerunner quickly notched up around $2 million plus in turnover and is now operating in 65+ countries.
12. Appliances Online
If there is one store which authenticates the claim that Australians are willing to buy anything online, then it is Appliances Online.
Taking the 105+ year-old traditional business of the family, Winning Appliances, to the online front, John Winning is making an annual turnover of more than $150 million. Currently, the company has around 500 staff that is working towards delivering good customer service.
Winning attributes this success to being the first-mover in the Australian ecommerce industry, and just how did Winning achieve such success? By using the good old word-of-mouth methodology!
11. Shoes of Prey
It is normal for physical stores to embrace ecommerce, however, Shoes of Prey is an online retailer which opened a physical store because of its strong online presence.
Shoes of Prey allows its customers to design their shoes using their online portal. Back in December 2015, the company was able to secure $6.5 million in venture capital for opening their physical stores in other parts of the World, including the US.
However, Michael Fox is of the view that the physical store is going to be their main focus. Shoes of Prey plans to keep their online portal as their main sales channel.
10. Dick Smith
Chief Executive Nick Abboud is associated with turning around the fortunes of Dick Smith along with the help of a private equity firm, the Anchorage Capital.
Nick Abboud integrated Dick Smith’s 380 physical stores with the retailer’s online presence along with stores on eBay and Catch of the Day.
After a troubling few years, back in 2014, Dick Smith reported a 55% growth in online revenue owing to their “click and collect” model. Before the implementation of this model, online sales accounted for just 5% of the annual revenue. Dick Smith indeed knows how to give customers the convenience they are looking for.
9. Dan Murphy’s
Dan Murphy’s website attracts around 2 million plus visits per month. Dan Murphy’s is part of the Woolworth Liquor Group along with BWS and The Wine Quarter and contributes more than $7 billion in sales for the group.
Dan Murphy is a part of a retail conglomerate that have online operations and knowhow to scale the operations with the right techniques while doing ecommerce in Australia.
8. Lorna Jane
Lorna Jane is not a new name in the active wear retail industry. Now in its 26th year of operations, the brand continues to enjoy rapid growth in its online sales.
For Lorna Jane, online sales now account for more than 15% of the company’s total turnover. One aspect of its growth can be associated to its mammoth social media following, with more than one million fans on Facebook alone.
Lorna Jane partnered with the US Fashion giant, Nordstrom, to extend the reach of Australian ecommerce brand to other countries. With over $200 million in revenue, Lorna Jane continues to grow its brick-and-mortar outlets, adding 40+ during the past year.
7. Red Balloon
Selling services online is easy. However, selling experiences is a bit tricky. But this is not the case for Red Balloon.
The online Gift Shop and Experience seller, Red Balloon, now has an estimated annual turnover of $60 million and offers more than 3000 different experiences from 1000+ suppliers from Australia and New Zealand.
Naomi Simson, the founder of Red Balloon, started the business with $25,000 of her family’s savings. She spent this money on building the website for Red Balloon. She quickly realized how fruitful that decision was, as Red Balloon, within a span of two years, had sold more than a million experiences.
With more than $40 million turnover each year, online Australian bookseller, Booktopia is now headquartered in a bigger facility centre in Sydney.
Tony Nash, the co-founder of Booktopia, launched the business with a budget of $10 a day from within the confines of his home back in 2004. Tony has a background in IT which is quite clearly apparent when you land onto the Booktopia site as it offers easy navigation to the users.
What is more surprising is that Booktopia does not have a physical store footprint. It is an entire ecommerce based store in Australia.
5. JB Hi-Fi
JB Hi-Fi was a brick-and-mortar business in Australia that was able to replicate its success in the Australian ecommerce environment.
JB Hi-Fi’s unique visitors on the website go over 1.3 million per week, accounting for over 4% (of total revenue) from online sales.
This is not the only online property that JB Hi-Fi owns. Back in July 2014, JB Hi-Fi launched a digital content platform, JB Hi-Fi Now, which sells music, movies, games and book content. This platform is a perfect fit with JB Hi-Fi’s goal of providing customers the choice to shop for both physical and digital goods at one place.
4. The Iconic
The Iconic was founded in 2011 after securing multi-million dollars funding rounds. Iconic not only houses Australian designers, but have also added a stable of famous international brands, including UK’s top label, Brand New.
Although a new player on the Australian ecommerce front, fashion marketplace The Iconic continues to soar high compared to all others.
The Iconic’s success is also attributed to its huge social media following of 500k+ fans and more than 90k followers on Instagram.
3. Catch of the Day
No list of online retail businesses can be complete without mentioning the Australian giant, Catch of the Day. What started off as an eBay business, transformed into a more than $350 million juggernaut, The Catch Group.
The founders of Catch of the Day, Gabby and Hezi Leibovich, have not been resting on this success though. They went on to launch a homewares category with West Avenue back in 2014.
The Catch group has had a lot of helping hands besides Catch of the Day. Along with owning the deals site Scoopon, they have also received funding from James Packer and Andrew Bassat. Speaking about numbers, on average, the group sells one item EVERY SECOND with more than 7% of orders coming from different social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
2. Temple & Webster
Founded back in 2011 by Brian Shanahan, Adam McWhinney, Conrad Yiu and Mark Coulter, Temple & Webster is a subscription-based homewares retailer. Temple & Webster went from strength to strength in the 5 years time since its launch.
Temple & Webster is one of those companies which took just 214 days to achieve the $1 million mark in revenue. Now, it takes merely 5 days to cross the seven figure mark. No doubt, Temple & Webster is one of the top ecommerce stores in Australia.
Kogan is one of the most well-known ecommerce store in Australia. Starting out by selling televisions, Kogan has now moved to other categories in the Australian online retail market, including Grocery, by launching Kogan Pantry back in February 2015.
Items like Nutella, Pringles, toiletries, confectionaries and other cleaning items are available at the Kogan online space for customers to order.
Kogan soon realized that they could only sell so many TV’s to a customer and had to diversify their portfolio if they wanted to continue riding the online retail success in Australia. For them, they wanted consumers to come to Kogan for any product that they might want.
Whoa! That is some list! I know I may have missed some ecommerce stores in Australia. Do you know about any other store that could be a part of the top-notch online retailers in Australia? If yes, let me know about them via your comments below!
Read the top trends that are expected to rule Australian ecommerce fraternity, here.
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