Financial infrastructure platform, Stripe has released a report which found that consumers and businesses are optimistic about the globalised economy, with businesses looking to expand into new international markets, and consumers increasingly willing to purchase cross-border goods and services online.

Despite macroeconomic challenges, both businesses and consumers are optimistic about buying and selling more outside of Australia. Almost two-thirds (62%) of Australian businesses are planning to expand into other countries within the next two years, while 23% expect more than 75% growth internationally over the next five years.

Businesses in Australia feel there are fewer restrictions on how they operate today compared to the past. Over half (58%) think it is easier to run an international business today than it was five years ago, and only 16% find it harder to do so.

This optimism about the global economy also extends to consumers. Close to three-quarters (72%) of consumers in Australia are open to the cross-border purchase of physical goods, and 68% are open to buying digital services. 

Digital exports are leveling the playing field and allowing businesses of all sizes to access global markets. Almost three-quarters (74%) of sole proprietor businesses in Australia now sell internationally, heralding the rise of single-person multinationals, while 11% of these sell to more than 11 global markets. 

At the other end of the business spectrum, large traditional enterprises are leaning into cross-border expansion as well. From 2021 to 2022, there was 24% growth in Australian enterprises selling internationally via digital channels on Stripe. Globally, 50% of enterprises plan to expand further internationally in the next two years.

Economic infrastructure for the internet means businesses can participate in global trade, regardless of where they’re located. Based on Stripe transaction data from 2022, the top five digital export markets for all countries span across at least two continents. For Australia, the top five digital export markets stretch further, covering three continents — North America, Europe and Oceania (New Zealand). 

Stripe managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Karl Durrance said, “There’s no denying businesses in Australia and beyond are operating amid a challenging economic climate. During a period as crucial as this, they need to make sure they are maximising their potential to increase cash flow, and expansion into overseas markets has proven to be an effective strategy to do just that. We are proud to be providing businesses with the simple, scaleable financial infrastructure they need to achieve global growth.”