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Spring 2013 Newsletter

inHARMONY The Spring Edition 2013

Looking at Harmony with fresh eyes.

The soothsayers continue to predict challenging times ahead for Australian retailers. We have a flat-lining local economy coupled with an uncertain global economy. Several high profile and long established retailers have faltered in the past two years. Deloitte's in a recent whitepaper on "Global Retailing" pointed to a number of early warning signs that cause underperformance. These included, a high turnover of key senior managers, the inability to make informed decisions because of limited business intelligence, an ineffective business system, poor cash-flow management and a non-existent or ill-defined digital strategy. The most at risk are the small to medium sized private retailers.

Of significant importance in the battle for the retail dollar is the ever-burgeoning threat of overseas retailers. For many years, Australia's geographic remoteness and smaller critical mass left us sheltered from international competitors. However with faltering global economies and shrinking markets in Europe and the US, Australia is generating more interest. Australia has none of the pitfalls associated with establishing businesses in less developed countries. In addition Australian's preponderance for shopping online with overseas retailers has significantly increased global retailers awareness of our buying habits and the demand for their products. This inevitably leads to the type of insights they require to assist them establishing a physical presence on our shores. So international retailers armed with global operations and cheaper prices fuelled by their scale and size or appealing international brands are leaping-frogging the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Our focus in these challenging times is to improve the productivity of all our customers. So one very important initiative we have undertaken is to provide Harmony system audits. We're revisiting how our customers are using Harmony and potentially uncovering gaps and making recommendations to enhance business performance. We want to ensure that all our customers are extracting the maximum potential from Harmony.
Today's consumer is increasingly connected to both the physical and digital space and able to interact with retailers through multiple channels simultaneously. To stay competitive in this ever-evolving landscape, it is imperative for retailers to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels and provide the right services and products at the right time.

In 2016, the projected Australian online retail expenditure is expected to reach $27 billion. A well-conceived online marketing strategy is imperative. Over the past fifteen months we have achieved outstanding results for customers demanding a comprehensive marketing solution. Including website re-branding, marketing communications, search and social media optimisation, media buys and pay-per click. Future Business Systems can help you connect with a larger online audience and provide a seamless customer experience.

Click on the link below to read the full edition.....