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Social media key to new growth for NZ exporters and start ups

31 Oct 2014

DHL Express, the world’s leading international express services provider, says social media is fast becoming a prime tool to driving sales orders for New Zealand exporters.

Nearly half (43%) of New Zealand exporters surveyed stated that they had generated orders through social media. Of those, a third (29%) are generating orders via Facebook.

Tim Baxter, DHL Express NZ Country Manager, says “social media is becoming an increasingly crucial communications tool for New Zealand exporters, and these findings indicate that exporters are using this channel in creative and innovative ways.”

The company’s report says approximately half (51%) of exporters surveyed stated that they are confident they can improve their export business through the use of social media.

Online commerce in general was identified as a means to increase market reach, as more than 70% of exporters have experienced positive outcomes from online commerce through increased visibility, customer reach and business opportunities.

“The online channel continues to be a good vehicle for increasing presence in international markets and this is supported by burgeoning social media activity,” says Baxter.

He says New Zealanders are well known for being early adopters, and the findings only reinforce that exporters are highly adaptable. In particular, younger start-up companies with small businesses are using social media most effectively.

However, many exporters are not providing pricing and shipping information or online booking and payment functionalities online.

“We think exporters have a great opportunity to enhance the user experience in this area, potentially growing enquiries, and ultimately sales, even further,” says Baxter.

Key survey findings

-Over two-fifths (43%) of exporters have generated orders from social media.

-Of those, a third (29%) are generating their orders from Facebook.

-Approximately half (51%) of all exporters surveyed are confident they can improve their export business using social media.

-73% of exporters said online commerce has increased business, up from 67% in 2013.

-70% of exporters cite an increase in both visibility and wider reach to more customers.

-The majority of exporters (76%) are generating export sales from online orders.Of that, 27% of exporters generate at least 50%.

-Fifty per cent (50%) of exporters also use online commerce as a way to engage with customers.

-Less experienced exporters are significantly more likely to use the Internet as a distribution channel for their products or services, with one third (32%) of companies that have been exporting for less than five years generating 100% of their export orders online.

-79% of those trading less than five years used their own website as a sales and distribution channel, compared to only 53% of those trading 20+ years.

-In the last 12 months, 40% of exporters said an enhanced website/online presence was one of the innovative initiatives used to increase export orders.

-91% offer product and service information on their website, but only 45% offer pricing information.

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