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Forrester report on ecommerce buoys eBay sellers ahead of conference on Gold Coast


An upbeat Forrester report about ecommerce in the country is setting the background for the fifth annual Professional eBay & eCommerce Sellers Internet Conference, scheduled for 21-22 July on the Gold Coast.

The American researcher, in a report released late last month, predicted the Australian ecommerce market would rise 37% to $36.8 billion by 2013.

According to Forrester, most of that growth is likely to come from small and medium enterprises – the mainstay of the PeSA conference – as large retail continues to flounder in online sales and overall retail is witnessing a slowdown in offline sales.

Separately, a report citing Macquarie Equities Research said online retailing excluding services such as travel and event tickets, grew 8.4% last year, compared with 2.4% in 2009.

‘eBay etailers backbone of ecommerce’

PeSA founder Phil Leahy calls the small retailers “the backbone of the Australian online retail industry,” and one that needs further nurturing.

“Every year the feedback we receive from delegates is that they gain as much from their peers as they do from the presenters,” said Leahy, whose company Shop New York has placed No. 1 on eBay Australia for two successive years – 2007 and 2008. “Running an online business can be isolating, so these business people don’t get the chance for the networking and support that those in the corporate, or traditional offline small business, world might,” he added.

With PeSA, Leahy has sought to bring ecommerce’s best practices to Australian retailers by inviting industry stalwarts from the U.S., the biggest online market with over $150 billion in annual sales.

At the Broadbeach conference, featured speakers include:

•    Deborah Sharkey, managing director, eBay Australia & New Zealand;
•    Ahmed Fahour, managing director & CEO, Australia Post;
•    Scot Wingo, CEO of U.S.-based Channel Advisor;
•    Jonathan Garriss, CEO of U.S.-based Gotham City Online and Poster Revolution; and
•    James “Jim” Stynes, an Irish former professional Australian Rules footballer who is currently a businessman and writer.

The PeSA Internet Conference runs July 21-22 at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach.

The 2010 Conference Ravel Reel