Story image

Key NZ sectors leading online business adoption

01 May 14

The manufacturing and wholesale industry and the retail and hospitality sectors have emerged as clear leaders in online, as more New Zealand businesses begin to embrace the benefits of the internet.

In the latest MYOB Business Monitor Digital Nation Report, 41% of all local SMEs now operate a business website – up from 34% in March 2013.

A further 7% operate a social media site as an online presence for their business, while 16% have both a website and a social media site.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed says from Auckland today that it is exciting to see more New Zealand businesses recognise the benefits of the internet.

“More New Zealand businesses are beginning to embrace the opportunities the internet is offering – from access to international markets to increased engagement with their customers,” he says.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see key sectors like manufacturing and retail leading the way.

"These are businesses where the access to international markets and greater depth of customer interaction that the internet provides can make a real difference to the local economy.”

Of the main centres, Auckland has the highest level of online participation at 51%, with Wellington and Christchurch both on 48%. Across the rest of New Zealand, only 45% of businesses are online.

The survey highlighted the significant difference in online participation across industry sectors:

Those SME operators with a website report significant benefits in terms of new business, improved branding and customer engagement:

• Generating more customer leads and enquiries (55%)

• Enabling the business to have a more professional brand image (53%)

• Made it easier for customers to do business (51%)

Interaction with customers (54%) and generating more leads and enquiries (37%) are also an important part of establishing a social media presence.

According to the report, social media also enables businesses to have increased appeal to younger customers, according to 39% of SME operators.

Growing use of the cloud...

In the latest Business Monitor, almost a third of businesses (32%) report that they are using cloud products and services at least some of the time.

Use of internet technology is strongest in Wellington, with 44% using the cloud, followed by Christchurch (37%) and Auckland (34%). Cloud usage drops significantly outside the main centres, to 24% of SME operators.

The finance and insurance industry (56%) and business and professional services (39%) are the highest cloud users, while the primary industries (10%) and construction and trades (225) report the lowest use.

Cloud use is also likely to be more widespread, based on the range of services businesses use regularly:

• Email - 86%

• Online banking - 82%

• Filesharing / Voice over Internet (VoIP) equal at 25% each

• Buying products and services online - 24%

“As a leading provider of cloud accounting services designed to make business life easier, we are particularly pleased to see local SMEs enjoying more of the benefits of internet technology,” Reed adds.

Internet access also an issue in some areas...

Satisfaction with internet access outweighs dissatisfaction amongst SME operators, with 41% reporting they are happy with their current level of internet access, while 34% are dissatisfied.

In Christchurch, however, where businesses have become increasingly reliant on internet access due to the disruption of the rebuild, dissatisfaction with current access is stronger (44%).

Further south, over half (53%) of SME business operators in Otago and Southland are unhappy with their internet connection. 47% of SME operators in rural areas also expressed dissatisfaction with their current internet connection.

Although the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) rollout is targeted at improving internet access it looks unlikely to have an immediate impact.

Just 14% of local SMEs report they are currently connected to UFB, although 63% of SME operators who do not currently have access to UFB believe it would have a positive impact on their business.

“Building a robust high-speed national broadband network is an important aspect of providing the right infrastructure to support online business,” Reed adds.

“However, we also need to ensure businesses are not overburdened by cost, and can both understand and access all the direct benefits to ensure the country can becoming a highly connected, 21st Century Digital Nation.”

DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
SingleSource scores R&D grant to explore digital identity over blockchain
Callaghan Innovation has awarded a $318,000 R&D grant to Auckland-based firm SingleSource, a company that applies risk scoring to digital identity.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.