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South Australian exporters will receive a boost from the Marshall Liberal Government to go online and sell their products to the world as part of a new eCommerce Accelerator Program (eCAP).

The $500,000 eCAP program comes after COVID-19 related restrictions have seen consumers embrace online platforms to purchase goods.

Minister for Trade and Investment said that this ‘click and purchase’ method of buying and selling has prompted innovative exporters to rethink how they build brand awareness and connect with their overseas customers.

“This program will allow eligible small to medium exporters to apply for up to $10,000 in grant funding to diversify their business model to include an online platform to generate more revenue and create new jobs.

“Innovation is the backbone of successful business and this program offers businesses the opportunity to adapt and change to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

“We recognise that for many exporters, this means a completely new approach to how they interact with existing and potential clients.”

The Hamper Emporium is a family-owned, 100 per cent Australian online company that offers luxury gifting across Australia and is looking to expand into the international marketplace.

Owner Emily McWaters said the business couldn’t operate without an ecommerce platform.

“The platform enables us to sell our products all over Australia – products that you won’t find in a traditional retail outlet.

“Through our online business model, we’ve seen fantastic growth since we launched 10 years ago. People are turning to online shopping to find new products whilst they shop from the comfort of their own homes – or even via their mobile phones on the commute to work.”

Businesses with export-ready goods or services that are made in South Australia will be able to use the funding to help establish an eCommerce presence.

“With social distancing paramount in the world’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the eCommerce Accelerator Program (eCAP) is a timely initiative that will provide opportunities for our South Australian businesses to continue to do business and access existing or new clients through online platforms to successfully engage with international customers,” Mr Ridgway said.

Businesses will be able to use the money to undertake training that may assist developing their business models, selling products online via third party platforms, or establishing eCommerce capability.

It will also be available to use for commissioning digital marketing plans or purchasing online advertising / conducting email marketing campaigns.

There are currently an estimated 8,600 businesses across South Australia with the potential to export, including nearly 1,500 wholesalers, who could benefit from embracing eCommerce opportunities.

How the money can be spent to build business capability:

  • Training to assist developing business models/leverage online marketplaces
  • Selling products via third party platforms such as Ali Baba, Amazon and others
  • Establishing eCommerce capability platforms such as Shopify
  • Commissioning the preparation of a digital marketing plan to drive traffic to an online store or ecommerce listings on third party platforms
  • Purchasing online advertising/email marketing. Other key points:
  • Online shopping in Australia has been growing at 14.3% over the past 5 years and is forecast to grow at 7.8% p.a. to reach $34.5 billion by 2023-24, (according to Ibis)
  • Manufacturing and food, wine and agribusiness account for almost 60% of exporting companies, with products suitable for eCommerce channels
  • In 2017-18 there were 2,557 local companies who exported – 59% of those were small businesses.

Originally published on the Premier of South Australia’s website: SA exporters get a boost to sell products online