Export confidence on the rise as Aussie businesses embrace e-commerce

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The rise of e-commerce has delivered a massive uplift in export confidence for Australian businesses. Research from the DHL Export Barometer 2017 shows export confidence is at its highest level since 2011.

55 per cent of exporters reported an uplift in orders in the past year, with online channels generating the highest increase in revenue.

DHL’s annual survey into Australian exporter confidence found that two-thirds (67%) of exporters surveyed expect sales to increase over the next 12 months, mirroring the attitudes surrounding export confidence that reached its peak in 2007 and 2010.

CEO for DHL Express Oceania, Gary Edstein, said the uplift in confidence was a great indicator that the Australian e-commerce market is in good shape.

“We’re seeing innovative businesses gain significant traction on the global scale, encouraged by the ease of access to larger international markets via e-commerce and online channels,” Edstein said.

“In particular, we’ve seen a rise in the number of newer exporters, those that have been exporting for fewer than five years, who now make up around one-third of Australian exporter landscape.”

We’re seeing innovative businesses gain significant traction on the global scale

With employment growth also on the rise, the study also revealed over half of those surveyed were considering increasing staff numbers in the coming year.

Tim Harcourt, JW Nevile Fellow in Economics, UNSW Sydney and Host of The Airport Economist, told Kochie’s Business Builders that the research shows it is getting easier, not harder, to do business on the world stage.

“Optimism in exporting has numerous positive knock-on effects for Australian businesses and the economy overall including increased revenue and more job prospects.”

The picture of just how important e-commerce has become to Australia’s economy can be easily quantified when you look at the figures.

A massive 78% of Australian exporters generate orders from online channels – and nine in ten (89%) of those who export consumer goods source orders online, while 85% of small businesses (those with up to four employees)said they generate business online.

Edstein said the face of Aussie online trading has changed significantly in the past five years. More and more businesses are choosing to bypass the middle-man and send their products directly to consumers, where previously they would have engaged in a retail partnership.

The number one export destination for Aussie producers is New Zealand (61 per cent) followed by USA (48 per cent), Europe (38%) and the UK (36%). In North East Asia, China (35%) and Hong Kong (27%) lead before the other FTA markets of Japan and South Korea.

“There is a focus on English-speaking countries which can be linked to the increase of newer exporters, who are more likely to test the waters with traditional export markets including New Zealand and the USA before expanding further afield,” commented Harcourt.

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Cec is a media professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor and journalist on titles as diverse as SX, Better Pictures, Total Rock, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Senior Writer at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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