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Driving business online: Why it matters

Businesses that make an early transition into the online world are more likely to see the rapid growth of revenue and staff, according to a newly released study that confirms the profitability of the local online retail market.

The study, commissioned by PayPal Australia, found that half of all small businesses experienced revenue increases after selling online for more than 12 months.

Sales increased by an average of 5 percent for these businesses who made the early online move. However, sales declined by 4 percent for businesses that didn’t sell online or hadn’t sold online for more than a year.

The results confirm the profitability of the Australian online retail market, which has grown to $31.7 billion.

Despite the advantages of going online, however, the majority of small businesses are still yet to establish an internet presence.

According to the study, only a third of businesses have been online since last July. These findings support recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data that revealed 57 percent of businesses have no online presence.

“These results confirm that the global transition to online retail has been a significant challenge for many local businesses. However, we know retailers here must keep pace with changing global market trends as future growth in the sector will unequivocally come from digital channels,” said Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman.

“Establishing an internet presence is an increasingly critical first step; it at the very least provides a significant opportunity to supplement their business with an additional sales and marketing channel,” Zimmerman explained.

In order to help offline businesses establish their online presence, PayPal Australia has founded the national educational initiative Driving Business Online (DBO).

Now in its second year, the DBO initiative will provide businesses with expert tips and tools to help them make the transition and engage with the growing online community.

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Carly McKenna

Carly McKenna

Carly McKenna is currently working as a journalism intern for Dynamic Business. She is also a third-year Media student at Macquarie, a music enthusiast, and a lover of all things literary.

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