The value of income from the sale of goods or services via the internet rose to $286bn in 2014-15, from $267bn in 2013-14, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Businesses continue to embrace social media, increasing their presence in that environment by 3% over the past year to 34% during 2014-15, up from 30.8% in the previous 12-month period, according to the ABS data.
Most of the key indicators of business use of technology grew through the period, with web presence rising to 48.6% from 47.1% and orders received via the internet up at 33.8% compared with 33.2% in 2013-2014.
The rate of orders placed by businesses via the internet was slightly down at 55.7% from 56.0% and the percentage of businesses with internet access remained relatively steady at 94.8%, compared with 94.7%.
The latest data highlights the response of Australian businesses to the new environment of “disruption”, said CommSec chief economist Craig James.
More and more firms are finding value in using the internet as a key avenue to drive sales, he said, as businesses are finding that their competition is increasingly global rather than local, "meaning that they have to offer sales over the internet to compete more effectively".
"New businesses are challenging existing operators – domestic as well as overseas firms – and increasingly over the internet. As a result, Aussie businesses are attempting to get closer to their customers through social media in addition to using existing marketing and distribution channels.
"Businesses are attempting to retain customers and attract new customers through all means possible, and that certainly includes use of social media," he said, adding that social media "may end up being a more efficient marketing channel for many businesses".