E-commerce sales worth $266.8 billion in 2014: ABS

Australian companies reaping benefits from online presence says report

Australian businesses are benefiting from e-commerce with online sales bringing in a total of $266.8 billion in 2013-14, according to a new report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This was up 8 per cent on the 2012-13 financial year, when online sales brought in $246 billion.

The report Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business 2013-14 found that 56 per cent out of an estimated 757,000 businesses placed orders via the Internet.

Meanwhile, 32 per cent of those businesses received e-commerce orders.

According to the report, 76 per cent of businesses in the information, media and telecommunications industries had placed orders for goods or services via the Internet. By comparison, 30 per cent of businesses in the transport, postal and warehousing industry placed orders online.

Sixty per cent of businesses in wholesale trade made online orders.

The report also found that 94.7 per cent of businesses had Internet access, up from 92.6 per cent in 2012-13.

Companies with a Web presence – such as a company website- remained steady at 47.1 per cent, down slightly from 47.2 per cent.

However, more firms were getting into social media including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. An estimated 30.8 per cent of companies were on social media, compared to 26.1 per cent in 2012-13.

Larger companies employing 200 or more people were more likely to be using social media (66 per cent), up from 64 per cent in 2012-13. This compared to 42 per cent for businesses with 5-19 employees, up from 34 per cent the previous year.

The information media and telecommunications industry recorded the highest proportion of businesses with a social media presence (59 per cent), followed by the arts and recreation services industry (56 per cent). Businesses within transport, postal and warehousing and agriculture, forestry and fishing industries were the least likely to have a social media presence (both on 9 per cent).

ICT review

The ABS and Department of Communications is conducting a review into using alternatives to direct surveys when compiling ICT statistics.

A public submission process ran from January 2015 to February during which time 28 submissions were received.

The ABS has identified five key data characteristics, based on the submissions it received:

  • Timeliness and frequency

  • Granularity including geographical and demographic disaggregation

  • Information with respect to privacy and legislative limitations

  • International data comparisons to enable benchmarking at the international level

  • Measurement of intensity and impact of ICT rather than incidence

The review is due to be completed before the end of the financial year in June.

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