And the survey says ...



The recent Sensis e-Business Report contains some interesting statistics and prompts some interesting questions. The survey interviewed approximately 1800 small and medium size business (SME) proprietors, about their experiences selling online and their future intentions. The survey investigated levels of understanding, usage and take-up by small and medium businesses with regard to what e-commerce has to offer.


For Newsagents Booksellers and Stationery businesses the survey highlights two major points to consider.

There is evidence that points to a myth that online is all about global selling. With e-commerce offering customers the opportunity to purchase in a global marketplace, it appears there is increasing interest (and sales) by local business to local consumers.

The survey says: overall, businesses were most likely to make a sale to customers relatively close to them – in total 84 per cent of SMEs that sold online, reported making some sales to local customers with 45 per cent reporting they mainly make sales to customers in the same city or town. Of those SMEs that sold online, 26 per cent had made sales to customers overseas.

Does this mean that businesses are actively marketing to their local area or is it that online shoppers are seeking out (prefer) a local business to buy from?  The survey doesn’t answer that question directly but a further reading might shed some light.

The survey says: while 95 per cent of SMEs reported that they were online, only 19 per cent of those reported that they had some form of strategy for their business`s digital activities. It appears that the greatest communication and marketing tool on the planet and 81 percent of small to medium enterprises in this country have no idea what to do with it.

Also what is of great curiosity is the survey says that this situation has not changed from that reported last year.  So it appears that in the past 12 months the vast majority of businesses have not found a way to make their online presence create sales.

Is there a clue here for Newsagents, Stationers and booksellers?

If our ideal customer is the parents of local school children (I`m reasonably sure it is) and online shoppers are looking to buy local...

What are you doing with your online strategy?
Here’s the stats:

92% of Australians use the internet to look for product/service information, but only 64% of SMEs have a web presence.

Only just over half (57%) take orders for their products and services.

Just about every business (95%) are connected to the internet. 95% use it for email but only 35% use eMail Marketing to promote their business.

66% of SMEs have a website. Of those, 65% are using their website to promote their business.

89% use the internet to find suppliers and 82% use it to buy products and services.

74% use it to access directories.

46% use it to monitor the market or their competitors.

The survey says:  On average, small businesses were expecting to spend $5,000 and medium businesses expecting to spend $57,500 on hardware and software in 2014.

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