acquires, Australia’s largest online retailer has announced the acquisition of

I suspected we might see some form of consolidation in the online space this year, and there could be more to come in future, although the press release indicates that perhaps you need some special business qualities to encourage an acquisition to take place. I fear that there are too many copycat sites in the market that aren’t unique enough, or don’t have enough special qualities in their makeup to put themselves in a great position for future purchase.

In any case, here is the full press release (provided courtesy of Chris Hitchen of Getprice, (more…) introduce category bidding

In a smart move, Getprice have introduced a category bidding system for their customers.

Now, if you want to appear at the top of a category or search, you can bid more to appear there. With enough customers feeding products to the site now (they say 1.5 million products online), this is a move that should enable them to generate more revenue.

I have included their email to feed customers below. (more…)

Want to grow your eBay business?

Want to grow your eBay business?

Then consider attending this years PeSA event in Sydney, called ‘Survive & Thrive’.

PeSA is the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance and the Australian arm is holding this year’s seller event in Sydney. Last years was a great success with hundreds otf attendees, and I think this years will be even bigger.

Tickets are $199 for attendance, and includes access to exhibitors to help you improve your business, and also speakers, workshops and more.

Last year I ran some one on one sessions with sellers (and I think we might do it this year too). It was great to meet smaller sellers looking to grow!

From the site :

The agenda is taking shape and bookings are now open for the 2009 PeSA Summit.

Register to attend today and take advantage of our earlybird price of only $199 for the FULL two day Summit.

Check last year’s feedback if you want to know if this will be worthwhile to your business. And see what exhibitors you’ll be able to vist.

Ill be up there, exhibiting our ReadytoShip shipping automation product, so if you go to the event, be sure to say hello! launches today

Today a project that I have been involved with takes a big first step.

Mark Freidin and I today launched

We are not making a big fanfare, and it will surely evolve, but we are happy to see it live.

We are excited by this industry, and in particular the growth that our industry has and is experiencing. is a site designed for online retailers. Those beginning their business online, those that have been selling for a while, and for the experienced too.

Over time as we add more content and functionality we want this site to be a hub of information for the growing community of online sellers in Australia, so I really encourage you to read, comment and contribute, and of course return and read again!

Thanks for checking it out.


Magento Performance – Magento 1.3 Benchmarks

Magento Performance is a hot topic at the moment. We recently installed Magento Commerce version 1.3.0 on a test server with a current production database to do some performance testing and I thought I would publish a few results. They aren’t exhaustive tests, but indicative I think.

Although we haven’t done a huge amount of testing yet there are some interesting results (and some performance improvements over a ‘standard’ non cached install).

First, any figures should be interpreted with respect to our own current configuration for this test. These results were NOT for a standard demo data set.


The Fast Rise of Magento Commerce

I follow Magento Commerce and it’s development rather closely. This is because on of my businesses retails online using the Magento ecommerce software and my other business leverages this knowledge (and a lot of other online retail experience) to develop Magento modules and code and shipping automation software.

I have written about some of this in my blog before, and will write a little more shortly as we release our Fraud Prevention Magento Module (using fraud screening technology from and some improvements to our shipping automation software ReadytoShip (which now supports Magento).

I have noticed a steady increase in the amount of traffic coming to this blog because of Magento keywords searches in Google. I just happen to rank fairly highly in Google for the term “Magento Performance” which is good, maybe I should write a little more about it!?

But I have also noticed a larger number of online stores in Australia either developing in Magento, or already using Magento. There are a few big brands too, like Durex and Homedics using it now too.

I did some Google searching this morning for the .au domain to see how many stores I could find built of being built in Australia and there are already over 120.

The Magento name is being searched heavily worldwide now, see Google Trends from All Regions and Australia here.

Google Search Trend all regions

Google Search Trend all regions

Compare the Magento trend to that of ‘oscommerce’.


Not a bad start for Magento Commerce down under, especially when the product is only at an early version 1 stage and there is not a huge amount of developer and designer support for it yet (although this seem to be growing as well).

What will Magento become in 2009?

magento_chicklets_02Magento Commerce is quickly growing, and according to the Magento website is the fastest growing eCommerce platform at the moment.

Magento is still young, but I peronally know more and more online retailers looking at it as a solution. The underlying structure, robust and powerful API, and complete separation of design/themse and core code make it pretty appealing.

That, and the fact is it open source, so you won’t pay them a cent to download and install it. Awesome.

Roy Rubin’s keynote speech at “Meet Magento Germany” is worth a watch if you are interested in Magento Commerce, but I have summarised the key points for you here :


The traffic is coming, but why aren’t they buying?

It strikes me that many website owners out there concerned with conversion rates don’t spend enough time understanding the visitors to our websites.

I have definitely been guilty of that. Maybe you are too?

eCommerce Conversion RatesIf you think about it, I am sure you would would agree with me too. We should spend more time really understanding our offerings and whether they align with what our visitors are looking for.

Why did that person spend so long adding items to a cart, starting checkout but disappear?!

If you could boost your conversion rate by 25%, what would that do for your bottom line?


Magento Commerce online store performance

We have been using Magento Commerce for about 3 or 4 months now as a new online store platform for a few of our websites.

Magento is a new product, but already growing very quickly in users and features.

We are currently ChannelAdvisor customers and had been using the standard ChannelAdvisor store for some time. We took part in the beta test group for ChannelAdvisor premium stores (which look pretty good) but we have decided to use Magento Commerce instead.

Why did we do this? Well, there are a number of good reasons…

So, what WAS in the Big Brown Box?

I mentioned a appliance website some time ago in another post, talking about the slow adaptation of online sales in Australia by the large brick and morter incumbents. has been doing quite a lot of marketing and launched a little while ago. Initially when I browsed around it was extremely slow, but this seems to have been resolved.

I had my first ‘experience’ with it the other day, looking for a small upright freezer. With a young child now, my wife wants to start cooking some more meals and storing them!

In any case, I saw a freezer, stock was  advertised as being ‘low’, so I emailed to get an ETA (no phone number on site). The response was fast, 2 hours, but not what I was hoping for. ‘End of the month’ according to their supplier.

So really, they had NO stock.  Even though the price was excellent, including delivery (couldn’t get it cheaper anywhere) I didn’t order. I drove down to see my mate at The Good Guys and he did it for $3 more!

To really make that site a success, they have to either have the stock (and advertise that fact clearly) or tell you that it will be backordered in.

Oh, and I know this is a rarity (2 Youtube clips in one week!) but one f our employees here is handy with the home camera and editing suite and has entered a competition for Big Brown Box. The more people that watch this clip, the better his chance of winning.

So please watch!

Revenge of the Big Brown Box