In this day and age, businesses with no online presence are missing out on plenty of opportunities.
A year-long MYOB Business Monitor report into New Zealand’s e-commerce economy found businesses with a website earn and sell significantly more compared to those that don’t have an online presence.
Conducted from April 2010 to April 2011, it discovered that up to 9 percent more businesses with a website have seen revenue growth, compared to those without. Businesses with a website also report significantly increased pipeline work.
But according to MYOB general manager Julian Smith, the majority of Kiwi businesses are nowhere to be found in the global online economy.
He says New Zealand’s relatively low level of participation in the digital space is holding the country back, and that the economy could grow by at least 5 percent if all local companies started their own website.
“Currently less than a third of local businesses have their own website,” says Smith.
“Although 2 percent more businesses have gone online in the last 12 months, unless we see a rapid change in the number of businesses establishing a presence online, we are missing a real opportunity to transform the economy.”
According to the report, only 32
percent of New Zealand businesses have their own website, and just 9
percent sell products or services online.
The most connected companies are in the manufacturing and wholesale sector (58 percent) and the retail and hospitality industry (53 percent), with 6 percent of the country’s primary sector online.
“Much of the developed world is looking for and buying from businesses online,” says Smith. “Even locally, 66 percent of customers research a business online before making a purchase.
“However, it seems many business owners are still lacking the drive to get online themselves, with 70% of those without a website reporting they don’t intend to ever establish a business website."
He says regional businesses in particular have failed to join the online bandwagon.
It's not that New Zealand business owners don't recognise the opportunities online, with 42 percent identifying the internet as a critical channel for marketing and promotion, and 35 percent saying they would sell more or get more work if they made better use of internet marketing.
Business owners themselves also increasingly use the internet for a range of business activities. The internet is now the major channel for business banking, for example.
The report says in contrast, nearly 40 percent of Australian businesses are online, up 4 percent since November.
|Bay of Plenty||35 percent|
|Hawkes Bay||24 percent|
|Tasman/West Coast||43 percent|