Supported by IE.

IE is a digital innovation agency at the intersection of the startup and corporate worlds. We provide Strategic Consulting, Agile Marketing, Platform Development, On-site Teams and Product Incubation to some of the largest and most loved brands in Australia. IE is known for challenging best practice with innovation to create experiences that resonate more profoundly with people. As we help our partners discover new revenue streams and increased relevance, we transform brands, grow businesses and change people’s lives for the better. Our partners include Telstra, Nike, Sportsgirl, Tourism Victoria, Movember, Sitecore, Demandware, Magento and Adobe.


9 Brighton Street, Richmond,

VIC 3121, Australia


Tel +613 9001 1700

According to the 2014 AIMIA Australian Retail Research Report, online retail remains only a small part of the overall retail landscape, accounting for 5% of global retail spending in 2013. However, as more of the global population embraces online shopping, brands and marketing have been investing more heavily here within the last 10 years. In 2014, according to Sitecore’s Emerging Trends report, 80% of Australian marketers have planned to increase their online activities in 2015. However, marketing spend on offline activities still outstrips spend by more than 50%.

Like many other international territories, Australian consumers are multi-channel and the priority of marketing effort depends on the business structure. In the e-commerce space it’s important to have a balance of online and offline channels present in your marketing mix. The biggest focus, and what marketers are paying attention to, is the customer driving marketing campaigns. Without putting the target audience at the centre of every execution, the campaign will be unsuccessful. In the Sitecore Emerging trends report it is clear that social media integration has increased in relevance, with 68% of marketers focussing on this area, rather than 57% in the previous year. This only reflects hard budget spends - much of a strong online marketing strategy relies on content marketing, and Australian marketers are putting a heavy focus on this area currently.

Marketing channel selection

Australian consumers respond to many of the same marketing cues as their international cousins. In response, local retailers are targeting their investment to maximise revenues. However, it should be noted that popularity doesn’t always mean that the channel is worth paying for advertising. In some situations, organic is the most effective option but this will differ across brands. Across 3 core marketing channels 68% of marketers are focusing on Social media (up 11% from the previous year), most retailers (90%) are using email and 67% are using campaign management. In revenue terms, 50% of online transactions are now carried out via mobile devices so there is a growing focus on a mobile optimised user experience. (Australian Sitecore Emerging Trends report for 2014)

This growth in mobile is also impacting expectations around how transactions take place. Mobile payment is a massive growth area in the Australian market as consumers are growing more accustomed to the reduced friction that this payment mechanism offers. It was projected in Australia’s CIO publication that mobile payments will grow by 60.8% come the end of 2015. This is due to many reasons, but the advances in Apple payments have paved the way and been readily embraced by a large portion of the public.

Note: Other responses = Booking systems, Review websites.

Figure 2: 2014 Priorities for Australian retailer investment

Another report, by AIMIA, put a slightly different spin on where Australian retailers are expecting to invest their marketing efforts. Social Media is still a strong area but interestingly Coupons and Ad networks aren’t receiving the same focus as in the past. This isn’t to say that their importance has reduced but rather they are perhaps more mature channels and better understood. However, Email is still a strong performer and mobile advertising is gaining importance with 20% of retailers investing in this area.

IE advise their clients to use the following channels (as a bare minimum):

Pay-per-click (PPC) on social media

Organic search via search engine optimisation (SEO)

Paid search via Google and other engines (SEM)

Email marketing - 2-3 emails per week to nurture customers

Social media - organic content

A major shift amongst Australian marketers has been a focus on personalisation, particularly in the B2C space, for Australian marketers. Of the marketers questioned in the Sitecore Emerging Trends report, 26% saw personalisation as the greatest growth opportunity for the 12 months following (2015/2016). As consumer expectations have been steadily increasing, particularly around the customisation of content, marketers are now realising this is a huge growth area.


It was quoted in the Power Retail 2014 social commerce report that “2014 looks to be the year of social commerce, with companies finally able to generate a significant percentage of revenue.” This rings true in particularly on Facebook over all channels. 97% of all social networking users are connected via Facebook. The most important thing to remember, as confirmed in the report, is that investing in social spend for growth is important at the beginning, but it needs to be backed with a solid content strategy. If your content is not appropriate or shareable, you’re not going to have engagement.



Social media is used, by varying degrees, for content consumption from friends, family, businesses, news organisations and brands. The difference between Australia and other markets is that local expectations for customised content are quite high. You need to understand your consumer’s interests before marketing to them on social media by paid channels.

With regards to search, the major search engine is Google, followed by Bing and Yahoo. For this market, advice includes spending on paid for search on Google in particular, and optimise content for organic across all three channels. There are also a number of local search engines that focus on Australian results. Examples include Ansearch, Ausfind and Webwombat.

Localisation of content is important for a country the size of Australia. For a merchant looking to trade into the country language is the obvious one, followed by localisation of search terms. An Australian consumer is likely to look for products in different ways to a US or UK customer; despite ‘sharing’ a language. The merchant’s proposition is an important element of this. For example, IE creates sites unique for each country for their clients, that way they get the most traction in each location. Tourism Victoria’s’ website has been geographically targeted so customers travelling to the state are able to have the most relevant information served to them based on their location. Where global brand guides are present, these can be adopted to match local market conditions and expectations.



Political and socio-economic environment

Online and mobile usage


Custom clearance policy

Legal framework and regulation

Logistics and fulfilment