The Australia homeshopping market continued to be led by EziBuy in 2012, an operator in clothing and fashion accessories. However, its value sales have been steadily declining, due to the stiff competition presented by store-based retailers, including department stores and clothing and footwear specialist retailers. To target increasingly value-conscious consumers, EziBuy has been engaging in deep and frequent discounting. The homeshopping operator provides live chat assistance to facilitate queries, as well as to drive value sales amongst prospective consumers.
Convenience is the key benefit offered by homeshopping, ensuring the category remains popular despite technological innovations. Many Australian consumers are time-poor, therefore the ability to browse a catalogue at leisure and place an order over the phone from home or the workplace is a useful way to shop for many consumers. Distance is also a key issue that homeshopping retailers help consumers overcome. Australia is a vast landmass and, as a result, there is often not a bricks-and-mortar retailer at a convenient distance, therefore having goods delivered to either work or home is appreciated by consumers. Arts and crafts retailer Spotlight, for example, acknowledges that distance is a key reason why its homeshopping offering is popular, especially with rural consumers.
Homeshopping retailing is expected to decline by an annual average of 1% in constant value terms over the forecast period. Cost-conscious consumers will continue to refrain from purchasing discretionary items, meaning demand will remained subdued, meanwhile the growth of internet retailing, which offers a greater range of products and price comparison facilities, will take sales away from homeshopping retailers.
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