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DHL finds more B2B companies using e-commerce

Online commerce continues to grow with an increasing portion of Australian business-to-business (B2B) companies joining the e-commerce bandwagon, according to a new report from logistics company DHL.

The 2016 DHL Export Barometer shows that 40 per cent of Aussie B2B companies say their online sales have increased over the past 12 months compared to 28 per cent of business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. Meanwhile, the majority of respondents said online sales remained the same (51 per cent and 64 per cent among B2B and B2C companies respectively).

“We are seeing a broadening of businesses getting involved in online commerce. Where it was once the domain of consumer-focused companies, we’re now seeing more enterprises looking for orders among business customers, most likely as online knowledge and expertise starts to mature,” Gary Edstein, senior vice president of DHL Express Oceania, said.

The DHL report also indicates that 64 per cent of exporters now generate at least 20 per cent of their orders online, which is up from 58 per cent just two years ago. Another jump has been seen in the portion of exporters who generate orders solely online.

In addition, more Aussie exporters see online commerce as positive, especially mid-sized businesses, with three-quarters (74 per cent) reporting a positive impact.

This has led many companies to implement a wide range of initiatives to enhance their online offering, including entering new markets (46 per cent), using social media marketing (39 per cent) and improving the speed of deliver (34 per cent).

“Service excellence is now a key differentiator for exporters. Consumers expect to receive a high quality service when shopping online and the speed of fulfillment can make all the difference when exporting,” Edstein added.

“We’re also seeing a growth in the number of businesses interacting with buyers on social media, with more than two-thirds of exporters using social media to attract orders and correspondingly saying they are more confident in using these channels.”

DHL’s research shows that 68 per cent of Australia exporters use social media as part of their online marketing, with 51 per cent using Facebook, 28 per cent on LinkedIn, 26 per cent using Twitter and 19 per cent on Instagram.

The DHL Export Barometer is an initiative aimed at analysing export confidence in Australia and identifying export trends, and was first launched in November 2003. It is based on a nationwide independent research, examining the business outlook of Australian exporters, highlighting changes in overseas market demand and providing insights into the factors impacting on Australia’s export trade.

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