27th January 2015
The internet’s influence has expanded into almost every facet of the modern existence. We live in an age of easily accessible information and infinite connectivity. Statistics NZ reported in June 2014 there were 1.98 million internet connections to homes or businesses in NZ. In addition and perhaps of more note, 3.7 million mobile devices were active in NZ in the 3 months leading up to June 2014.
These statistics are reflected by changes in consumer behaviour and B2B relationships. These changes have direct and significant effects on SME’s in NZ.
Recent Statistics from Colmar Brunton tell the story:
NZ commerce is increasingly shifting to the digital world. Not only are we buying more online but we are researching our purchasing decisions online.
This means increasingly the majority of the purchasing process is being conducted in the digital realm. NZers are discovering, researching, comparing and acting on their purchasing decisions online. Rendering many formerly productive methods of doing business and chasing business prehistoric in a short period of time.
It is vital for small businesses to recognise the significance of this development in consumer behaviour and B2B interaction and engage with it.
These changes offer new opportunities and advantages to SME’s in New Zealand. These potential advantages of Internet usage should excite SME owners. A 2013 AUT study into the Internet in NZ estimated that if companies making low use of the internet evolved to become more like firms with high levels of use it could be worth an additional $34 billion in productivity.Overseas the ‘Deloitte Access Economics’ study in 2013 reported SME’s that are highly digitally engaged generally profit 20% more than those which are less engaged.
There is no doubt that business is going to be increasingly done online. The questions that remain are: who will be left behind? and how will those that do get onboard use these opportunities?