Retailers renovate sites… Newspapers lose to online… Rented baby clothes… Ethnicity of success… OS call centre negativity

SmartCompany /

  • Retailers renovate sites
  • Newspapers lose to online
  • Rented baby clothes
  • Ethnicity of success
  • OS call centre negativity
  • Quote of the day


Retailers renovate their sites

Website design is a top priority for web retailers, with 60.3% having redesigned their e-commerce sites in the past year, according to an internet retailer’s survey of more than 100 US retailers reported by Marketing Charts.

Aussie e-tailers have taken a different tack. Earlier this week reported that some of the most popular e-tailers in Australia have gone for practicality and cost-effectiveness over innovation and cutting-edge web experiences. Imagine what they could achieve if they smartened up on the tech side?

Interestingly, of those in the US study who planned to update their websites over the next 12 months, 50.8% of respondents say they will rely on using internal staff to complete the next site redesign, suggesting many retailers have seen it has been worthwhile to develop an in-house capability.

The top objective for those updating their sites are better product and page structure (68.9% of all companies) followed by smoother navigation, faster and more intuitive site search, and more product reviews and ratings.


Newspapers lose readers to online

Many capital city newspapers lost readers during 2006-07, according to figures from Roy Morgan Research, including heavy declines by some Saturday and Sunday newspapers. Meanwhile visitors to the Fairfax and News websites soared during the 12 months to June 30. Most sites reported 40% growth or higher, according to Neilsen//NetRatings.

Paper losers: The Advertiser, The Daily Telegraph, The Australian Financial Review, The West Australian.

Bucking the trend: The Age and The Australian.


Babies grow out of clothes so quickly – why not rent them?

Clothing babies and young children can be an expensive process – the little tackers keep growing out of them before they’re worn out.

Springwise reports that those clever Germans have come up with a solution: a rental service for baby clothes. For a fixed fee per month, parents can choose from different sets of jumpsuits, pyjamas and outerwear. The clothes are delivered by post – it doesn’t cost much because they weigh next to nothing – and once babies grow out of a size, the set can be exchanged for the next size up, free of charge.

It’s not necessarily going to save you money, with pricing ranging up to €26 per month, but it will save you having to spending half your time in the baby clothes shop. And it’s 100% organic cotton, which is nice.


Victorian ethnic businesses doing well

Most ethnic small businesses are well established and growing strongly, with owners of Asian heritage particularly upbeat, research by the office of the Small Business Commissioner in the Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, shows.

Operating an average 14.2 years, half have expanded in the past five years, with 58% planning to grow or export.

The survey of 500 ethnic small businesses – businesses with fewer than 20 employees – was conducted in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Other findings include:

  • The most optimistic owners are of Asian heritage, while British owners are more pessimistic.
  • Four in five have no networks or connections in their native country that influence their business.


Surprise, surprise – people don’t like foreign call centres

A poll by car insurance specialist Budget Direct has proved what most of us already felt anyway: Australians do not like receiving calls from overseas call centres, according to iTWire.

According to the survey of more than 4000 people, 84% of Australians want their car insurer’s contact centres to be located exclusively within Australia, with agents that can demonstrate a level of local knowledge when handling inquiries.

Not surprisingly, Budget Direct’s call centres are all located within Australia.


SmartCompany Quote of the Day

“What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.”
Nora Ephron




SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

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