Almost half of all SMBs (49 per cent) which have had an online presence for a year or more grew revenues in the last 12 months according to the survey. This leaves 51 per cent to shrink or tread water.
What is clear from the results though is that a handful of companies do spectacularly well online. Four percent of SMBs grew by 40 per cent plus last year – and all of them had long term online sales capability. Overall however the average growth for long term web sellers was 5 per cent over the year.
Meanwhile only 36 per cent of companies without a long term online sales presence were able to grow over the last 12 months. On average business among the online laggards shrank four per cent.
The survey, conducted by Roy Morgan, on behalf of PayPal Australia also revealed that only one in three SMBs have been selling online for a year or more.
NAB’s quarterly online sales index for the three months to the end of June certainly shows strong consumer demand, with online sales growing 19 per cent compared to the same period last year. For the year to the end of June NAB estimated Australia’s total online spending was around $11.5 billion – about five per cent of bricks and mortar retail spending (excluding spending in restaurants, cafes and on takeaways).
Mr Christie said that retailers needed to understand that; “In Australian consumers are in charge of retail now,” and said that SMBs needed to embrace the online sales environment.