There's no doubt about it, digital initiatives are carving the path forward for Gold Coast retailers and businesses. But what in particular can you do to boost growth? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, retail trade grew by 0.5 per cent in October in seasonally adjusted terms. Queensland recorded the same figure on a state level, and by industry the top performers were food retailing, department stores and household goods.
As we head into Christmas, many local businesses will be pleased with the results. But looking ahead, what kind of digital initiatives could help you get further ahead?
While Deloitte's Queensland Business Outlook for 2015 identified rapidly diminishing engineering and resources industries, digital technology was enabling expansion in many other areas. As Deloitte's national technology advisory leader, Kevin Russo, noted, "it is providing new sources of economic growth for the state, with a growing number of ICT jobs projected to be in demand over the next five years".
One reason for this is the strong increase in the use of smartphones and apps. Incorporating an app into a Gold Coast retailer's business plan could boost sales, or at least provide an increase in business exposure. Roy Morgan research has outlined that the online retail industry is currently worth $37.8billion. Tickets, clothing, travel and books are all strong sellers in this arena.
If you own commercial property on the Gold Coast, could this be a shrewd move for your business?
Another way that Deloitte noted digital technology was helping business was through the use of cloud-based services. This is essentially a range of IT services provided by third parties over the internet, but it provides benefits well beyond simple ease of access.
It can save your company a lot of money, as maintenance of IT systems is outsourced when you use a cloud computing provider. This is because staff and repair costs are included in a cloud contract. Storing data in the cloud also means that in the event of failure of equipment, your business' data remains safe and secure online
Employees could work from home occasionally, or even permanently – freeing up space for you to secure that Gold coast office lease in a smaller but more desirable location. the flexibility it offers means that anyone looking to expand their Gold Coast commercial empire should consider how the cloud can make them more flexible.
The Deloitte report states that at the moment, about 60 per cent of Queensland small to medium businesses "have some level of digital engagement". While this is a good turnout, it could be improved – especially as the Roy Morgan data shows there are in excess of 600,000 online consumers in any given four-week period.
As the technology sector grows, Gold Coast businesses across all industries might want to take note and keep pace. Involving digital strategies in growth plans could see you increase customer bases, or boost B2B capabilities.
We might not be able to help you connect to the internet here at Ray White Surfers Paradise, but we are on hand to help you with so many other aspects of your business growth. If digital capabilities free up space or cash flow for you to move industrial sites, open up a new retail branch or pick up any kind of commercial expansion, that's where we help.
With a wide network up and down the Gold Coast and decades of experience getting people what they want, we're a one-stop shop for anyone with any real estate needs.