Digital export markets are spurring a shift in global growth opportunities for Australian businesses

Digital export markets are spurring a shift in global growth opportunities for Australian businesses

Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, today released a report based on three years of proprietary data that reveals businesses in Australia are exploring new digital export markets, building a foundation for growth in the face of economic uncertainty.

The report — based on transaction data on Stripe from 2019–2022—describes how digital export flows are being determined by global demand and market fit rather than traditional supply-chain routes. Platforms like Stripe are transforming the economics of doing business across borders while creating a foundation for growth during an economic slowdown.

“During the pandemic when Australia’s borders were shut and retailers were struggling due to lockdowns, many realised selling to customers overseas was critical to staying profitable. Now, with growing economic uncertainty, this is a trend we’re seeing continue as international trade remains a business priority and is a fantastic opportunity for homegrown companies to tap into another suite of customers,” said Karl Durrance, Managing Director of ANZ, Stripe said. “Working with infrastructure providers such as Stripe enables businesses in Australia to be more efficient, adaptable and scalable in their global expansion through support of payments in a wide range of countries, currencies, and local payment methods.”

Key findings from the report include:

Digital exports spur shift in global trade flows from Australia 

The internet has made it possible for goods and services to be traded in different parts of the world in a matter of seconds, and given rise to entirely new business models. As digital cross-border sales increase, new digital export markets are emerging for businesses selling on Stripe in Australia:

  • The United States has emerged as the biggest growth opportunity for businesses in Australia on Stripe. This was the most used digital export market for Australian businesses selling on Stripe in 2021, followed by New Zealand and the United Kingdom
  • New Zealand is the fastest-growing market for Australian businesses selling on Stripe, with a 69% growth in businesses selling to the country between 2020 and 2021.
Stripe Digital Exports

The profile of Australia’s businesses selling internationally is changing 

While many young, digital-native companies are designed to be global from day one, platforms are also reducing the barriers for traditional, non-digital-native companies from Australia to reap the benefit of new international audiences and buyers.

  • The number of non-digital-native enterprise and small and medium businesses (SMBs) selling internationally on Stripe from Australia grew by 20% between 2020 and 2021, matching the growth rate of digital-native businesses selling internationally 20% in the same period.

Digital exports are catalysing growth for diverse industries 

The total number of businesses selling internationally on Stripe has grown steadily between 2020 and 2021. Some industries have been especially effective at capitalising on the trend. In Australia, the top five industries that sold internationally online on Stripe in 2021 were software, merchandise, clothing and accessories, personal services and business services.

Australia’s Bikes Online is one merchant that has taken advantage of international opportunities. The direct-to-consumer online bike retailer used Stripe Atlas to quickly open bank accounts and incorporate in the US. The company has seen a 10x increase in business since its US launch—and now does more business there than in Australia.