Report: Australian retail lifts its marketing game

Recent figures released by BDO revealed Australianm retailers have boosted marketing spend particularly in digital marketing, to help increase market share

Australian retailers lifted their market share game and helped leverage consumer confidence by boosting their marketing spend by over 35 per cent, including investment in digital marketing, over the last financial year.

The BDO’s 2015 Spend Trend report showed Australian retail sales lifted again in FY15, despite some high-profile losses, as the sector gets ready to leverage ideal consumer conditions in 2016 by increasing marketing investment.

Analysing key 2014-15 financial ratios and indicators for 18 ASX-listed retailers, including Wesfarmers (WES) and Woolworths (WLW) and 13 US and UK-based retailers, the report showed Australian specialty retailers increased sales revenue by 5.3 per cent, or approximately $1 billion, from 2014-15. This contrasted with a 9.4 per cent increase across the international retailers.

BDO partner and retail specialist, John Bresolin, claimed this year’s report revealed positive signs for Australian retailers and shareholders, as last week’s hold in interest rates and the lower Australian dollar combine to make shopping locally more attractive to consumers.

He said a social media surge among Australian retailers has coincided with some encouraging growth in online sales, with many recording significant double-digit growth in relative terms.

“Many retailers now employ dedicated social media staff or have appointed a digital marketing department to coordinate these efforts, with tools like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube being used heavily in key sales periods such as the lead-up to Christmas,” he said.

LUSH Cosmetics brand communications manager, Natasha Ritz, said the beauty brand uses social media to drive engagement, provide fantastic customer care, discuss topical issues, drive brand loyalty and build trust.

“We are moving towards a more omni-channel approach by connecting messaging digitally and in stores, and we are always looking at opportunities to use technology to better serve our customers in whichever way they’d like to engage with us as a brand,” Ritz said. “Social media allows LUSH to tell our story, share content and encourage conversation, not just about our brand or products but topical issues and deeper messages, to help build trust and relationships with our customers.”

Despite crucial business KPIs such as sales revenue, net profit margin, gross margin and gearing improving or remaining stable for Australian retailers, the larger international retailers are still outperforming Australian companies in key areas of revenue growth and net profit margin.

While Australian specialty retailers recorded an 18.7 per cent increase in average net profit margins to 4.3 per cent, boosted largely by Billabong’s write-downs in 2014-15, the international retailers still maintained a higher average rate of 5.3 per cent.

Stock is also moving more slowly for Australian retailers, and the report noted a slowdown of 4.8 per cent to 55.5 days for the speciality retail group sector, and a 4.3 per cent drop to 31.9 days for the broader group. Bucking this trend slightly were the international retailers, increasing 0.4 per cent to 45 days in FY15.

“Australian retailers still have a long way to go if they are to match their international counterparts, whose online sales represent well in excess of 10 per cent of their total revenue,” Bresolin added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook:, or check us out on Google+:

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Thanks for this. The key for me is the effective of governance where it dictates and sets the proactive policy when it comes to CX. Tech ...

Hitesh Parekh

6 lessons in modern marketing from a customer experience chief

Read more

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...


CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Very interesting article which touches on the importance of a feedback loop fuelled by customer and market insights. Ideally this scenari...

Andrew Reid

Building customer insights in the data and digital age

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in