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A look at the online marketplace

Julian Smith takes a look at the online marketplace and how Aussie consumers are embracing technology.

We very proudly lent our Marketing General Manager, Suzanne Damms to the team at Australian Businesswomen’s Network a few weeks ago to talk about the way technology has changed the online marketplace – and the way that SME’s in Australia are doing business.

Suzanne has a pretty big role. At MYOB, she’s in charge of all things marketing – from the brand and public relations, to the website and online team, right through to our in house designers and the marketing research crew. She’s spent the last 16 years working in the technology and business industries, and has watched as a whole series of technology changes have changed the marketing landscape, in particular social media. Crediting it as one of the biggest game changers, she believes it has put much more power with the consumer, and has revolutionised the way people engage online. It’s also opened up a new way for small business owners to communicate and build a relationship with an audience – across a global market unlike we’ve ever seen before.

While we’re moving towards an online world, Suzanne still believes that SME’s in Australia are still not completely comfortable with cloud technology and operating solely in an online space. While early adopters have embraced the space with gusto, we’re still seeing a mixed reaction from the masses. We’re seeing this trend here at MYOB – online sales of our products are growing steadily as people become more at ease with online transactions, and Suzanne expects to see online sales really ramp up over the next few years, as e-commerce becomes the norm.

Consumers as a whole are more receptive to purchasing low risk, inexpensive items online (such as music or e-books), and it will take time for people to become comfortable with the notion of buying expensive products in the same manner.   Suzanne believes we will get there – if you remember just a few years back when people were sceptical of entering their credit card details into a website, an action that has now become fairly commonplace. For SME’s, she really thinks that a strong brand image going to be their biggest asset, as consumers look for a trusted and credible brand for online purchases.

It’s an exciting online world ahead for Australian small business owners, as technology continues to change the marketplace. We’re looking forward to supporting them in their journey!

You can hear more from Suzanne’s ‘In Her Shoes’ interview here.