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E-tailing : a snapshot of Australia’s top 25 retailers
E-tailing is gaining momentum in Australia as traditional retailers are moving towards the adoption of a clicks and bricks strategy. Electronic retailing or E-tailing can be described as selling goods to customers directly through electronic means. Although this Business-to-Consumer phenomenon is not new, it is helping retailers to conduct business online with virtual storefronts and to reach local and global customers who are disadvantaged by geographical and other distinct barriers. This chapter starts by detailing the current state of e-tailing with supporting statistical figures from recent research with a specific emphasis on Australia. Overall growth in Internet accessibility rates across Australia clearly demonstrate e-tailing’s importance to online customers. Literature review once again proves the fact that Internet not only creates opportunities for retailers but also poses many challenges. Further discussion provides an understanding of the suitability of the retailing channel for different products and services. This study then analyses the usability of Australia’s top twenty-five retailers’ websites focussing on website usability factors, such as navigation, searchability, purchasing, layout and clarity, information content, and web browser compatibility. Australia’s e-tailing initiatives might be lagging behind most developed markets, however recent research indicates that there is a significant growth in this online activity and it will continue to attract more and more online customers in the coming years as retailers jump on the e-tailing bandwagon.