I remember when many of us thought the net would put Australia Post out of business. Well… we were half right. They just announced their results and their “regulated mail business” losses widened to $148 million in 2011/12. Who sends letters anymore? However, their online parcel delivery service makes up for it.
They have announced an outstanding $2 billion in upgrades, including something called “the Australia Post Digital MailBox” which every Australian will get this month. What is it? “A secure online mailbox that you can access anytime, anywhere, on your favourite device.” Nice work Australia Post – if only there weren’t a million of these already. Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft’s Live Drive (or whatever it’s called these days), etc. I remember having meetings with Australia Post in 1998 (I kid you not) about turning them into a major online service for Australians (including secure email) – but for whatever reason, they decided to stick to stamps. Nice work, geniuses. Imagine what kind of position they would be in today if they had actually had some vision?
Anyhoo….. I think it’s too little too late for their digital mailbox business but we’ll see. I fear money will be pissed up against the wall.
They have also announced they will be delivering mail on the weekends – but in November and December only. Lame.
Here’s a good stat:
Online shopping continues to grow in Australia, with local consumers spending a total of $11.9 billion in online retail sales in the last year – an increase of around 22 per cent, year on year. In good news for local e-tailers, more than 70 per cent of these items are purchased through local online retailers.
Seventy percent of online shopping is domestic. The world ain’t coming to an end yet for retailers IF they get their digital strategy right. The stats aren’t promising in this regard, though. The vast majority of Australian retailers still don’t have a written, detailed, comprehensive digital marketing strategy. If they are doing anything at all online, they are winging it. And you can survive for a while like that, but eventually you run the risk of the wheels coming off.
It’s time for Aussie retailers to wake up and smell the virtual coffee. Take online seriously or miss out – like Australia Post did.