Emerging Technology

WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Get the glitches out of your system

Patrick Stafford /

Facebook floated last week, but that wasn’t the only tech story of the day – Nasdaq suffered a major technical glitch that stopped investors from being able to buy shares.

Although it was eventually fixed, many investors didn’t receive confirmations until later in the day. The head of the Nasdaq even admitted last week the event “wasn’t our finest hour”.

It’s another demonstration why businesses need to ensure all technical glitches are smoothed out of their system before a major launch.

Any small businesses operating a tech product based online will be well aware glitches can not only cause irate customers, but stop you from making sales.

Before any big launch or product update, you need to make sure you have all the technology right. Don’t skimp on spending money to ensure your site or product doesn’t go down, even for a few minutes – it could cost you thousands.

Keep moving, or risk becoming irrelevant

The group buying industry has taken the Australian eCommerce market by storm over the past few years, and is set to reap as much as $1 billion in the next few years.

But this week, research group Telsyte released a new piece of research that suggests the market may be stalling, and if major businesses don’t innovate, they will lag behind.

Telsyte senior research manager Sam Yip told SmartCompany that although the industry will still be turning over millions every month, businesses will need to focus more on personalisation to survive.

This personalisation is what tech businesses should be paying attention to.

These group buying businesses have huge databases, but aren’t using them properly yet. Email participants want advertisements tailored to them specifically, not anyone else. Businesses using such large databases need to make as many customisation options as possible.

If you’re a business operating a large email list, then don’t just throw everyone into the same group. Allow people to customise which emails they want to receive, and you may just see a better response.

Government moves to tax tech giants

There’s been a push for some time to have international tech giants in Australia taxed properly – and now that seems it may happen.

Earlier this week Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the Federal Government would be working on exactly this issue, and that Treasury may be drafting laws to ensure tech companies such as Google and Apple pay their fair share.

This isn’t so much a lesson for business as it is a fascinating development in the tech industry. For a long time Google and Apple, along with other tech giants, have been able to maximise their profit by sending it through various different countries.

First the inquiry into the differentiation in local tech prices, and now the move to tax businesses more – it seems the Government has the tech industry squarely in its sights.

Don’t bother outrunning the ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has now said it may investigate a recent deal made between fashion companies in order to limit the number of cheap, imported goods coming through the country undermining sales.

It’s a move the regulator has signalled previously, after saying it would be investigating more allegations of price maintenance against online retailers.

This comes as more businesses this week committed themselves to importing more goods from overseas – department store Target being one of them. JB Hi-Fi also said it would start selling imported video games.

Imports are now a way of life in retail. But the ACCC isn’t far behind – and retailers should beware.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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