Australian businesses and not-for-profit organisations are not as digitally engaged as our international competitors. ABS data indicated that, as at June 2009, 41.5 per cent of Australian businesses had a web presence and 27.1 per cent of Australian businesses took orders via the internet.
Data indicate that Australian businesses have high rates of using the internet and broadband as an input to the business, but low rates of using it as a business output. Compared with international competitors such as the UK, Canada, South Korea and France, Australian businesses have lagged significantly in the number that have a website and in respect of the percentage of their total turnover from e-commerce.
- The Global Information Society: A Statistical View [PDF - 1.89mb]
- The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation The Internet Economy 25 years after .com [PDF - 2.12mb]
- Access Economics Household E-commerce Activity and Trends in Australia [PDF - 928kb]
While differences may be attributed to a range of factors such as differing industry structures and distance from relevant markets, this suggests that Australian businesses are not harnessing the full efficiency and productivity benefits of the digital economy relative to their international counterparts. In addition, various industry reports suggest [PDF- 928kb] that the Australian retail sector, in particular, is lagging international competitors in the take-up of e-commerce.
In 2008-09, internet income as a proportion of total income from sales of goods and services for all Australian businesses that received orders via the internet or web was only 5.2 per cent.This was less than half the level in leading digital economies. A recent report also indicated that Australia’s community service organisations may not be fully utilising broadband and digital technologies. A majority of surveyed organisations were found to lack digital proficiency and have no technology plan in place.