The future of export is online for SME

The majority of small-business online sellers aim to succeed in overseas markets, with 84 per cent already selling into the US, and 62 per cent using Amazon to help them meet that goal.
The findings come from a survey of 193 small-business online sellers in Australia by WorldFirst (, an international money transfers company. The sellers surveyed largely sell products online, from home and garden (31% of respondents), health and personal care (22% of respondents), clothing and accessories (15%) and toys and games (15%) categories.
The survey revealed that the key objective of 42 per cent of online businesses is to expand into multiple countries – and while these businesses are small, they are already meeting that goal. Australia is certainly not the biggest market for online businesses, and as such, only 53 per cent of respondents revealed they sell products domestically, whilst a whopping 84 per cent revealed they sell to the US market. The UK is the third-largest market, with 31 per cent of respondents selling to this location.
Regarding the platforms that help them get there, Amazon is more popular than eBay: 62 per cent of respondents use Amazon as their primary marketplace while just 10 per cent use eBay as their primary marketplace. According to website rankings on Alexa, eBay is the most popular e-commerce store among Australian shoppers[1].
Managing director of WorldFirst Ray Ridgeway said: “The survey results confirm that online businesses are seeking to tap into the largest customer pool they can possibly get. To succeed, they face multiple challenges: not only to offer a superior customer service that attracts and retains customers in overseas markets, but to tackle the logistics of packaging, shipping, insurance, marketing, easy payments and a hassle-free returns policy.
“International payments is an area that many online sellers overlook, but movements in foreign currency can have significant effects on any small business’s profits. Businesses with an international reach need a currency strategy,” he said.
Countries in which Australian online sellers currently sell:

RankingCountry% of respondents
1United States84%
3United Kingdom31%
7New Zealand18%


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