Australian businesses are exploring new digital export flows, building a foundation for growth in the face of economic uncertainty, a new report from financial infrastructure platform, Stripe, based on three years of proprietary data, has shown.  

The report 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,” Stripe managing director of Australia and New Zealand, Karl Durrance 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.”

As digital cross-border sales increase, new digital export markets are emerging for businesses selling on Stripe in Australia. The US 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 UK.

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.

The total number of businesses selling internationally on Stripe has grown steadily between 2020 and 2021. 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.