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The Internet is, as we well know, everywhere.

Whether you’re based in the back of Bourke, or inner city Sydney, it’s possible to run a successful online business. Never before have the opportunities for e-commerce been so ripe – yet there are definite hot spots of activity.

Google has today announced Australia’s most web-savvy towns with its second eTown Awards, celebrating cities and regions whose small businesses make the best use of the web to connect with customers and grow.

Claire Hatton, Head of Local Business, Google Australia, told Dynamic Business that business operators who successfully integrate digital strategies are simply more competitive. In the online age, not having a web presence is crazy. “It’s really akin to not having a telephone number and not being listed in the directory,” Hatton said.

“And we see through our research that small businesses that actually use digital are more successful – they grow revenue and employ more people,” Hatton said, adding that the purpose of the Google eTowns is to the great work of small businesses and encourage their local councils to support them. “This web advantage also extends to towns and regions which need no longer rely on a single local resource or industry to prosper. A town’s real assets are now their small businesses owners and employees,” Hatton said.

Australia’s winning eTowns by state and territory are:

  • Cockburn, WA
  • Darwin, NT
  • Holdfast Bay, SA
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • North Sydney, NSW
  • Port Phillip, Vic
  • South Canberra, ACT
  • Sunshine Coast, Qld

The link between digital engagement and commercial success has been firmly established, and a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics published in April this year found that Australian small businesses with high digital engagement are twice as likely to be growing revenue, and earn twice as much revenue per employee. They are also four times more likely to be hiring additional staff.

“The location of your shop front or size of your workforce doesn’t matter online. Every business has the opportunity to engage customers and grow,” Hatton said. “Whether you’re a boutique hotel, beautician or surf school, if you’re not online you’re missing out on a direct line to thousands of potential customers.”

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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