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Australian Bushfires and its Impact on E-Commerce

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By Published On: January 9, 20200 Comments

It's no secret that Australia is currently facing some of the hardest and most intense bushfires in its history. Retailers throughout Australia have put aside the importance of sales and profits to help those in need. But what are the consequences of these bushfires, and how will they affect online retailers after these hard times end? 

While our nation is burning, the country and the world have banded together to support those who are affected by the fire’s devastation. Read more about the efforts of the retail community and see what brands are doing to band together and support the recovery effort.

As Citi analyst, Bryan Raymond, told the Sydney Morning Herald, there are positive and negative effects that will come out of the bushfire season. The haze, smoke and air quality that is currently plaguing the skies of Australia will have a ‘definite’ effect on retailers throughout the country. Of course, this is the initial impact of the fires that the country is experiencing, but it may take its toll in the coming months.

“It’s hard to put a number or materiality on [the impact] at this point, it will vary a lot by retailer,” Raymond tells SMH. “I think we’ll need to wait and see.”

Currently, retailers have seen an increase in sales of air purifiers and air conditioners – this may prove to be a positive outcome for appliances and electronics categories for retailers such as JB Hi-Fi and Bunnings.

There is also concern for supermarket chains if dairy farmers are effected by these bushfires, however, Woolworths claims that there has been no serious impact on this industry.

Another major concern that retailers across the country are set to face is a decrease in consumer confidence, says BetaCapital Shares. “Certainly, from a broader economic perspective, it’s not helpful,” explains David Bassanese. “So possibly, from a macro perspective, it could have a negative impact on consumer confidence, which at the moment is very vulnerable — it’s been the big drag on economic growth.”

For e-commerce, it’s too early to tell if these bushfires will have consequential damage to the industry. Australia is a country that gets stronger when it bands together, so make sure all Aussies continue to buy local, and support Australian businesses in this time of need.

We’re living in uncertain times, one thing is for certain, though – Australian retailers are shifting the focus away from the sales and profits to focus on what matters most – helping aid the Australian community as we endure the most horrific of times.

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