Global eCommerce is outpacing eCommerce sales in the
USA with the rest of the world growth forecast through 2016 at 17% compared
with the USA at 10%. China is now the world’s leading generator of online
According to research by Forrester, eCommerce sales in China will
reach $1trillion by 2019. Companies need to look for opportunity in cross
border sales to grow and future-proof their businesses. Being the hottest
thing in retail five minutes ago doesn’t guarantee your name will be known five
minutes into the future.
ThinkGlobal Retail brings global eCommerce pioneers
together to share their ideas with actionable information and leave with
answers that will empower online retailers to boost their sales and brand
ThinkGlobal Retail also brings together retailers from
around the world to share information and build relationships. Maintaining
a global perspective creates a multitude of opportunities to keep the best
retailers one step ahead of their competition.
ThinkGlobal Retail is not just about selling into
China. It’s also about sharing information globally, building a global network
and doing things better locally. Over 2 days, participants will be able
to enjoy over 35 content sessions and meet with retailers
and online experts from all over the world.
The eCommerce Solutions Expo will also bring together
over 30 marketplace solution providers including executives from Alibaba.com,
Tmall, Alipay & 11main.
At the affordable price of $595 for the full two days
plus networking, ThinkGlobal Retail also opens the gateway for retailers across
the board to gain access to the tools and strategies to help take their
business to new heights.
Christmas time is the retailers golden time
to shine; promotions earlier in the calendar year pale in comparison as the
golden child of retail presents front and centre from late November to mid January.
Some retailers have been known to make 50%+ of their annual profits in the
Christmas period. Christmas is also the time of giving – and it appears local
Australian retailers might have provided overseas retailers with a late season
Last week leading Australian retailer Solomon
Lew (chairman of Premier Investments – a group who also owns and operate stores
such as Portmans, Peter Alexander and Smiggle amongst others) –stated that a
move by Australia Post to work with overseas retailers to ship to Australia was
a “free kick for overseas suppliers”. However it might be Mr. Lew’s comments
that will be the biggest free kick for the overseas retailers.
Whilst Australia Post work with an
opportunity to grow their parcels business on the back of the eCommerce boom, the
underlying concern for Mr. Lew is that the $1,000 NO GST threshold still
applies on overseas purchases. However; every time a major retailer bemoans the
GST threshold it receives a front-page news highlight reel that reminds the
Australian consumer that cheaper goods exist overseas and just in time for
Christmas & New Year shopping periods.
Mr Lew’s comments on the overseas GST threshold
are not new – nor is he alone. Messer’s Brooks, Harvey and Zimmerman have sung
a chorus for GST threshold reform since 2011 and despite a productivity commission
reporting in 2012 stating that a reduction in the threshold would actually cost
more than it would receive, the chorus continue to sing.
When the retailers initially started
the campaign for change in 2011 the Australian Dollar was flying high – sitting
at or above parity. The high Australian Dollar continued right up until this
year; today the Aussie dollar sunk to a 4 year low. The low Australian dollar
makes it less appealing for overseas purchases, so at least as the campaign has
continued, the retailers might have possibly learned a more appropriate time to
voice their opinion. Regardless of timing, no government has expressed a strong
desire to for GST reforms for imported goods. With the fall
of the Australian dollar you may think proponents calling for new tax might
look for opportunity rather than old-fashioned protectionism.
If Australia’s major retailers had invested their
energy in innovation - their prospects would be looking better today. The
business leaders calling for a new tax are the same that have been slow to
embrace the online opportunity. Major US retailers such as Macy’s &
Nordstrom were forced by the market to change and adapt while their counterparts
in Australia dragged their feet.
Despite which side of the GST fence you sit, there
is an argument we Australians should all unanimously agree “Tax avoidance and
the failure of the current law to collect GST on services by corporations such
as Google, Apple and Facebook is a huge concern and has a larger impact to our
Lets focus on Google for example. Google is
the largest receiver of marketing money in Australia – yet pays a pittance in
tax – as offshore billing for a local service, followed by further money
movements reduces the total tax bill of the global giant. Small business & medium businesses that send similar
amounts to the tax office find news of companies like Google tax contribution
How do we as Australian taxpayers accept this
situation? We reward it by continually using the plethora of Google products.
The total amount of advertising billed by
Google Australia is estimated to be in excess of a billion dollars; however the
tax paid to the Australian Government is under 10 million dollars! How can this
be? A service was provided to Australians by an Australian entity and in
As Australia struggles to identify savings to
fund much needed programs for the country – Google acts like Scrooge McDuck
swimming in his money pit.
Australia is not alone with this conundrum. Other
countries where Goolge has a significant presence also suffer the pain of
missed tax revenue – USA, UK, France and Germany and others join us. Google
bills its Australian AdWords via Google Ireland – neatly avoiding the need to
charge and collect GST. The fee from Ireland is in turn paid to a Dutch
subsidiary, which then sends it back to an Irish holding company with headquarters
based in Bermuda where the weather is nice and there is no corporate law.
Many western laws around the globe have
struggled to keep pace with the digital world and this example of mass
corporate tax avoidance is no different. Australians need to be united on this
front. After all it’s us who miss out on the benefits consumption tax was
designed to deliver. Regardless of political preference or GST threshold opinion,
this is something we should be focused on.
A first step is to require the companies to collect
GST on their services. This system already operates in the UK in regards to
VAT. It is traceable via electronic data, as opposed to physical intervention
(border bureaucracy with no net benefit and that will eventually be
Journalist Mark Jones from the Financial
Review and I raised this issue in February 2007 as an urgent taxation issue
facing the new economy. Fast forward 8
years and nothing has changed to make companies like Google, ebay, Facebook and
others to collect GST on payments made to monster ecommerce companies.
This is a smart adjustment to current GST
laws to collect the money electronically that will collect billions effectively
into the future.
Australia weathered the storm of the GFC
largely shielded by China’s unsalable appetite for our minerals and our economy
was in good condition; with debt forecast now well into the future, Australia
must think and act globally.A potential
food and services focus of Australian products to Asia sits on our horizon, as do
other export opportunities including services and tourism.
Whist Australian debt rises we need to look
towards changes to the tax system to provide low cost collection and improve
productivity, not the opposite.
As continued globalization and access to new technologies,
cross border trade represents a great opportunity for Australia. The Australian
competitive future dictates that we remove trade restrictions and friction
points to make us competitive.
Why build a new bureaucracy that creates red
tape and has a major effect of slowing down our borders?
Lets focus on requiring foreign companies to
collect GST as a starting point and then look at ways to have them pay a fair
company tax that will require a G20 approach.
The big retailers should stop stepping over dollars to pick up cents
and as the GST threshold is discussed
again in the media – “let’s change the topic and the focus on the real elephant
in the room”.
ThinkGlobalRetail.com, a new event
introducing a global perspective to online retailers, announced today that it
has added Alibaba.com, the leading platform for wholesale trade,
as its diamond
partner ofThinkGlobal Retail 2015 to be held in Las Vegas, U.S.
ThinkGlobal Retail 2015 is an eCommerce
Conference and Expo that will provide the perfect platform to engage, share
knowledge and build new relationships with industry leaders from around the
Conference founder and CEO Phil Leahy
said: “We are very happy to announce Alibaba.com as our diamond partner of ThinkGlobal
Alibaba.com is the leading e-commerce company who has enabled the success of millions
of businesses around the world. We look forward to introducing Alibaba.com’s tools
to more businesses and helping them learn about global trade.”
will host leading experts from the US, China, Australia and the United Kingdom who
will reveal secrets, proven tactics and real world examples that will have
profitable impacts on online businesses.
During the two-day
event, ThinkGlobal Retail will be featuring 50+ renowned industry leaders who
will conduct 3 streams of over 35 content sessions. Attendees will gain
valuable insight to global marketplaces, online retailing tools, social media
marketing & International PPC & SEO. Additionally, online retailers
will have access to leading solution providers and networking events.
A world of change in eCommerce starts here: August 20
& 21, 2015 Las Vegas