Australian businesses urged to boost online presence

Australian businesses with a website are more successful than those without, according to the MYOB Business Monitor Online Special Report. But despite this knowledge, the majority of Australian businesses still do not have a website – with 57 percent of businesses still choosing not to promote or sell their products online.

The number of Australian businesses with a website has increased to 39 percent, the survey found, with 32 percent of these businesses reporting revenue increases in the past 12 months.

The majority of Australian businesses remain offline however, with 45 percent saying they don’t have plans for a website, and 26 percent believing a website would not help their business.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed wants this attitude to change, saying “there are still a large number of Aussie business owners who are not yet convinced of the benefits of getting online; and even if they are convinced a large number don’t intend to act on that knowledge. We encourage all businesses to think seriously about building an online presence.”

Interestingly, 47 percent of Australian businesses do not feel threatened by competition from online commerce internationally and 33 percent don’t think the NBN will increase global online competition.

Reed argues an online presence is necessary to be competitive; “Today consumers look online first when making buying decisions.  If your business can’t be found via a search engine it’s as if you don’t exist.”

One of the biggest hurdles appears to be getting started online. The report reveals 33 percent of businesses feel they are lacking in the skills to use the Internet for business, and 35 percent believe they do not use the Internet well enough for marketing.

Reed said the increased online presence is positive, but expresses concern at the threat posed by Internet-savvy international corporations to offline businesses.

“The longer businesses avoid the reality of the digital economy, the greater the likelihood that they will condemn themselves to lower revenue growth or even revenue decline.”

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