Australia's acceptance of e-commerce is "phenomenal" and local enterprises are well placed to cash in on its future growth, according to an official from Federal Express.
Dr David Smith, FedEx's director, strategy and alliance, e-commerce and customer service, discussing the company's current and future e-commerce plans, said Australia was well ahead of its Asian counterparts in the e-commerce stakes and has the expertise and infrastructure to benefit from the online boom.
FedEx was an early adopter of e-commerce, particularly in the business-to-business space, and it has enjoyed "double-digit" growth since its e-commerce service started in 1996, Smith said.
However, he warned local enterprises should increase the services they provide through the Internet. The FedEx experience demonstrated better service results in higher customer satisfaction levels and higher customer retention, Smith said.
Every business, regardless of its size, needs to "go global as a necessity for business survival", he said, adding that part of a global e-commerce strategy should address the non-English speaking market.
"English-speaking countries represent only 30 per cent of the world's economy and 8 per cent of the world's population," he said.
"Companies that target only that portion of the world market will miss out on a larger potential market."
Additionally, Smith identified five trends that would shape the future of e-commerce. They are the development of virtual communities, global e-commerce growth, increased importance of customer service functions, the migration of small- to medium-sized businesses to e-commerce, and an increase in price and information competitiveness.