The Internet may be the key to expanding your business.

Internet presence required for successful business

A new Roy Morgan survey has revealed that Australians spent approximately $37.8 billion in the last financial year – all over the internet.

The most common purchase was event tickets, with 6.5 per cent of online shoppers over the age of 14 having purchased one in an average four weeks. Media downloads and e-books also topped the list at 4.8 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively. 

While these items are almost exclusively purchased online, physical items such as clothing, fast food and electronics were also represented as some of the most common online purchases.

Cyber at all stages

It isn't just consumers who are using the internet to spend their money, however.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2014, 56 per cent of all businesses placed orders over the internet, while 33.2 per cent received them.

In total, the internet has created $266.8 billion of income for businesses cumulatively across Australia.

With 47.1 per cent of all businesses having a website, according to the ABS, it is unsurprising that many consider internet integration to be a necessity for any business. It isn't all about the sales however: many Australians choose to do their research exclusively online, with physical retailers that don't modernise quickly missing out to those who are web-savvy.

"The internet isn't just a sales channel," explains Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research {cap up – it's part of their official company name}.

{LB}"It's often the way we do a bit of pre-purchase planning via computer, mobile or tablet instead of visiting stores."

This online consumerism is slated to increase, according to the Office of the Chief Economist. The current expansion of the Australian National Broadband Network is expected to reach eight million homes and businesses by 2020, meaning more people than ever will have access to faster and more reliable internet connections.

The internet is beginning to be considered to be as much of a requirement as holistic business information or a solid business development consultant.