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One on three Aussie businesses are not online, despite the fact it is a $31.7 billion business.

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That’s according to a new survey by Roy Morgan, which shows sluggish enthusiasm by Aussie SMBs for ecommerce despite the massive growth in the digital channel and the marked decline of bricks and mortar.

And it has become a clear case of the ‘have’ and ‘have nots’ when it comes to online – businesses that are online enjoyed growth of 5% on average, while trading declined 4% for those that didn’t have a web presence.

A massive 17% of businesses online actually increased staff, compared with only 13% who have not been online for at least a year.

Despite the growth from businesses who have gone online, the majority of Australian retail SMBs have still not established an internet presence, the survey also shows.

In fact, only one in three SMBs are online since July last even though the Internet based retail market is now valued at $31.7 billion this year in Australia.

These findings support recent ABS data that showed 57% of businesses currently have no online presence, and nearly three out of four (72%) do not take online product orders.

Retail body Australian Retailers Association released the findings of the Roy Morgan survey, as it endorsed a PayPal initiative for online retailing in Oz, called Driving Business Online (DBO) for the second year in a row at a launch today.

Driving Business Online is a national educational initiative founded by PayPal Australia in partnership with the Australia Retailers Association, Flying Solo and eBay.

100 businesses as well as Elena Wise from PayPal Australia were in attendance at today’s launch.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman hopes the online roadshow which hit eight locations across Oz will help its 5000 members to develop their ecommerce offering.

 

“Preliminary results of the Roy Morgan survey show businesses who are ahead of the curve when it comes to online initiatives are the very businesses who have achieved growth and put on more staff,” Zimmerman said.

“Future business growth opportunities will come predominantly through digital channels and retailers need to be at the forefront of this trend.”

There was also an expert panel at today’s online event chaired by Robert Gerrish, (Flying Solo) and panel members included Emma Hunt (PayPal Australia), Emil Khoury (StylishUnderwear.com.au) and the ARA boss.

“Local retailers are an important fixture in Australia’s communities, but they must engage and embrace technology and connect with the new national and global consumer audience,” said Jeff Clementz, Managing Director of PayPal Australia.

A dedicated independent Driving Business Online website www.drivingbusinessonline.com.au will provide SMBs with further support tools to help small regional businesses compete online.

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