Conroy supports Aussie e-commerce as suppliers hinder e-retailers

78 per cent of online retailers experience difficulties with manufacturers

A majority of online retailers are dealing with manufacturers trying to hold back the e-commerce market from succeeding, despite the sector experiencing a boom, eBay has said.

In eBay's second Online Business Index (OBI) report released today, some 78 per cent of respondents were found to be facing a manufacturer backlash, with local eBay vice-president, Deborah Sharkey, saying that such restrictive practices are hindering innovation.

“Restrictive practices by manufacturers and wholesalers, uncovered in the OBI research, mean that local businesses are unable to offer the full range of goods their customers want and that needs to change,” Sharkey said in a statement.

Co-owner of South Australian online retailer Deals4Kids, Kirsty Chapman-Smith, said suppliers have strong ties to larger retailers.

“Many suppliers I’ve spoken to don’t want to lose the business of long standing retail partners, despite the fact that more and more consumers are moving online to make their purchases,” she said in a statement. “It’s become an issue of both loyalty and adapting to new sales channels.

"Suppliers should be working to promote a healthy and competitive retail environment, which benefits consumers and gives them increased selection at competitive prices.”

Of those surveyed that experienced difficulties, 35 per cent had faced issues with manufacturers or suppliers trying to stop them selling goods online, 25 per cent were required to sell their products at or near to a recommended retail price, and 22 per cent experienced unexplained problems thought to be caused by their status as an online retailer.

Minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, Stephen Conroy, launched the OBI with eBay and said that despite the issues facing online retailers, the sector has grown significantly.

“E-commerce has witnessed significant growth in this country, against the trend of the overall retail market,” he said.

“The government is committed to ensuring all Australians have access to high speed broadband through the National Broadband Network so that all Australians have the opportunity to participate as both buyers and sellers.”

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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