It's time for local businesses to embrace the digital age.
It's time for local businesses to embrace the digital age. Linden Morris

Small business across Southern Downs sold on online success

MORE and more businesses across the Southern Downs are turning to online when it comes to promoting and selling products.

About one in three small businesses in Queensland have made the digital expansion, and according to a nationwide survey, they're the ones reaping the benefits.

Commissioned by American Express, the survey revealed that those small businesses in Queensland who have embraced e-commerce are 26% more likely to have reported a profit increase in the 2011-12 financial year.

Those small businesses in Queensland who have introduced e-sales said it accounted for more than half of their revenue and the majority predicted an increase in this type of trade in the next 12 months.

"Small business owners in Queensland who have incorporated e-commerce into their business are seeing it as a worthwhile investment and appear confident of its long-term benefits," American Express head of marketing Amelia Zaina said.

"This comes at a time when having an online presence is becoming more and more important for small businesses.

"In fact, business owners in Queensland cite company websites and Facebook pages as the most effective marketing channels."

The American Express survey also found that social media has helped almost one quarter of small business owners in Queensland to grow their business - and those that attribute business growth to social media are more likely to have reported an increased profit in 2011-12 than those who don't.

Small business operators in Queensland who use social media believe it has helped them grow their business in several ways, including such things as raising brand awareness, sourcing new customers and generating new sales.

"These findings support the notion that small businesses who have gone online and are using social media, are seeing comparatively stronger revenue growth," Ms Zaina said.

"While different channels work better for different industries, both e-commerce and social media can be innovative and affordable.

Businesses can benefit in many ways to offset the impact of tough economic times on their business."

So if you're yet to embrace the digital age, now is probably the time.



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