The Federal Government is continuing to push the benefits of its National Broadband Network to SMEs with the launch of a new business website, digitalbusiness.gov.au.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says the website is designed to help small businesses become more competitive by learning about the benefits of an online presence and how to develop one.
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“More and more Australians are turning to the internet to find information, and it is important that small businesses and community organisations understand how to reach these people,” Conroy says.
The website caters for businesses at different stages, including:
- Establishing an online presence.
- Getting started in eCommerce.
- Increasing productivity using online tools.
Categories on the site include planning to go online, websites and content, online marketing, social media, online payments and donations, protecting data and case studies.
There are also tools for measuring the effectiveness of your online presence and for tracking the sentiment of your customers.
According to Nina Sochon, a spokesperson for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the NBN will enable all businesses to participate in the digital economy.
“Having a digital shop front potentially opens up new markets; your customer base is now potentially global. You can reach a wide but targeted audience,” she says.
Sochon says according to the latest eCommerce Report from PayPal, more than a third of Australian consumers believe it is “safer to buy from Australia” rather than overseas online retailers.
“This means that Australian businesses have a real opportunity to tap into consumers’ preference for local choice by presenting their products and services to Aussie shoppers online,” she says.
“The pages on [digitalbuisness.gov.au] provide you with some information to assist you in getting started and potentially improving your online presence.”
The news comes as major retailers put pressure on the Government to apply the goods and services tax to online imports with a sales value of less than $1,000.
In the past week, Myer and Harvey Norman have announced plans to open online shop fronts in China in a bid to offset competition from tax-exempt imports.