night time view of Sydney harbour in Australia

Australia is full of opportunity for ambitious business to business (B2B) ecommerce companies. According to the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report, Australia is ranked 14th out of 190 countries for ease of doing business and is the 7th easiest place to start a business.

Why Australia is a great place for B2B ecommerce

Australia survived the uncertainties of the 2008 financial crisis far better than many other countries. 

As the ‘gateway to Asia’, it’s also an ideal location to access China, which now accounts for almost a third of the world’s B2B market, estimated to be worth US$6.7trillion this year. China is already Australia’s largest trading partner with almost a quarter of all its exports amounting to more than US$65billion. 

In early 2016 China’s Alibaba sales portal established an Australian office to support local brands interested in accessing the Chinese market as well as growing their domestic sales. Globally, it processes transactions worth more than US$500million each year, representing huge opportunities for online B2B transactions. 

Australian goods are also in demand in many other parts of the world, including in services such as education and finance. Key growth sectors include agriculture, food and beverage, health and beauty.

Meeting customer expectations

At home, Australia has a population of just over 25.5million, distributed over almost 7.7million square kilometers and three standard time zones.

Effective and efficient buying and selling must meet the needs of this relatively small population living across a vast and sometimes inaccessible area. Shipping and handling are relatively expensive, so ordering and delivery errors can soon become a major business overhead. B2B ecommerce is a valuable way to improve business performance by reducing ordering errors, increasing customer satisfaction.

B2B ecommerce trends in Australia

Just like buyers in other parts of the world, Australia’s B2B customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. With over 75% of the world’s shoppers buying online at least once a month, expectations are driven by their online retail experiences. This is something that all businesses must manage.

Amazon launched in Australia in December 2017 and doubled its revenue to almost US$370million in 2019, although it has yet to record a profit. It’s more than likely that its Amazon Business offer, already well established in the US, will follow. While some might see this as a new wholesale opportunity, others will need to prepare for added B2B competition. 

There’s plenty of demand for products from the US, with the latest figures valued almost US$25billion during 2018.

Four out of 10 business to consumer (B2C) ecommerce purchases come from the US, so it’s reasonable to observe US buying behavior and anticipate what this could mean for Australia.

Forrester predicts that the US B2B ecommerce market will grow to US$1.8 trillion by 2023. While broadband speeds and technology across Australia might mean growth isn’t as fast in Australia, it’s reasonable to anticipate major growth in the next few years. Businesses that fail to anticipate this potential and capitalize on the possibilities could fall behind their competitors very quickly.

B2B opportunities in Australia

Because online retail is well-established in Australia, it’s easy to assume that it will generate more revenue than the wholesale sector. However, with more millennials taking on roles in B2B buying and penetration of mobile devices at more that 70%, the potential for anytime, anywhere online B2B purchasing is too big to ignore.

This trend doesn’t mean that traditional sales channels will disappear. An integrated ecommerce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution will deliver round-the-clock self-service and allow sales and support teams to share the same information at the same time. There’s no need to change existing business logic in the ERP system to manage your B2B ecommerce site.

With a seamless sales ordering process, data entry errors are reduced, and efficiency is improved, and savings of up to US$20 per order could be achieved.

Integration in action

The Cloudfy team was delighted to work with Foodcare Systems Australia to deliver a new hybrid B2B and B2C ecommerce solution.

Foodcare needed a fully integrated online portal to continue online growth for their business. However, the quality of service for their B2C customers and B2B buyers couldn’t be compromised.

Using the new portal their B2C users don’t need an account to explore the wide product range, see prices and bulk discounts, and place orders. At the same time, their registered B2B customers can see trade prices and access their accounts. Once logged in, B2B buyers can easily manage purchasing workflows, and create their own order templates for favourite purchases, along with a quick order option. 

A solution on the Cloud

Cloudfy is a leading B2B ecommerce platform for manufacturing, wholesale, import and distribution businesses around the world.

If you’re looking for powerful personalisation capabilities, intelligent marketing, and a comprehensive suite of reporting tools, this Cloud-based solution can meet your needs. 

It’s a powerful but simple out of the box solution that allows B2B businesses to be trading online in a matter of weeks rather than months or even years, with all the essential B2B ecommerce elements included.

To find out how Cloudfy can help your B2B ecommerce business succeed in Australia, talk to one of our experts.