Aussie SMB E-commerce Sales Soar

Australian businesses are becoming more e-commerce savvy according to the 2016 Sensis eBusiness Report released this week. The new study found that Australian SMBs (small and medium businesses) using e-commerce are seeing a rise in online sales as a proportion of total sales.

The report found that more than half of Australian SMBs are using e-commerce, with 95 percent making most of their online sales in Australia. For those SMBs using e-commerce, online sales have grown by 11 percent over the past four years, from 32 percent to 43 percent.

Sensis Commercial Director, Rob Tolliday advised that while a quarter are selling to overseas customers, only 2 percent are making most of their sales to this group.

“Selling online has become increasingly important as fewer shops have a physical store front and those that do have to battle with major overseas retailers who have landed in the key shopping strips,” he said.

The study, which surveyed 1,000 SMBs and 800 Australian consumers, found that 71 percent of Australians made online purchases this year, up 10 percent from last year.

The most popular items purchased online are airline tickets, clothing, shoes, accessories and hotel reservations, with the average consumer spending $3,300 (down from $4,400 last year).

Tolliday pointed out that while online retailers such as Amazon offer consumers more choice, the falling Aussie dollar has seen overseas purchases remain steady. “Less than a quarter of online purchases are being made on overseas sites,” he said.

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-10-50-38-amWhile online retail sales are on an upward trend, hacking remains a major concern, with 69 percent of businesses and 85 percent of Australians consumers expressing concern about hackers interfering with their online transactions.

While there are still a few Aussie businesses that haven’t yet adopted e-commerce, 12 percent say they intend to do so in the next year. Sixty-one percent of local SMBs have a website (up from 56 percent) with 43 percent of those optimised for mobile devices.

Sensis advises SMBs to be mindful of the importance of optimising website for mobile, with 78 percent of Australians now owning a smartphone and most (73 percent) using it to search the web.

“Of those businesses that don’t have a mobile friendly website almost two thirds have no plans to upgrade. This is a risky strategy, given Google’s search algorithm preferences mobile friendly sites and customers now expect a seamless digital experience on any device,” said Tolliday.

The report also found that 19 percent of small businesses have some sort of digital strategy in place.

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