Internet sales totalled $143 billion for the 2009/2010 financial year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The figures came as a 15 percent rise for internet commerce over all industries excluding arguiculture, forestry and fishing.
However, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey indicated the number of orders received online by Australian companies had dropped over the previous financial year, from 27.1 percent in 2008-2009, to 24.8 percent of businesses excluding agriculture.
Online commercial activity was highest among wholesale trade and manufacturing industries, at 49 percent and 41 percent, respectively.
The local retail sector had garnered $219.3 billion in sales over the same period.
Nine out of ten of all businesses had some form of internet access, according to the ABS, with information media and telecommunications industries ranking highest in the proportion of businesses. They were followed closely by the financial and insurance industries.
Accommodation and food services industries provided the lowest proportion of businesses with internet access at 74 percent, while businesses in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was close behind 83 percent.
Predictably, the rural industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest rate of dial-up broadband use at eight percent, versus an average three percent of all businesses with internet access.
High access but weak web presence
Despite high penetration of internet access, the statistics revealed a disparity with those that had an established web presence.
As of June 30 last year, only 40 percent of all Australian businesses had a web presence. The bureau included businesses with a website, a home page or other web presence but not listed as part of a web directory.
Web presence was lowest among those companies with less than five employees, with even small information media and telecommunications companies only managing a 47.3 percent stake in web presence.
Of those that did have a presence, the vast majority used it mainly as a contact and information tool.
Less than one in ten overall businesses had online shopping cart facilities.
Businesses in the retail trade were the most likely to have a website with shopping cart at 42 percent of businesses.
Business to Government activity also fared well, with 65 percent of businesses having some form of electronic lodgements with government organisations.
One in eight business experience net security breaches
Overall, 12 percent of businesses with internet access had experienced an internet security incident or breach during the year ended June 30 2010.
Large businesses provided the biggest targets at 19 percent while 10 percent of those companies with less than five employees had reported breaches.
The consequences of breaches most commonly experienced were
- service downtime (62 percent)
- hardware/software corruption (53 percent)
- loss of staff productivity (43 percent)
Businesses in professional, scientific and technical services were the most likely to have experienced an internet security incident, followed by retail trade.
Transport, postal and warehousing as well as arts and recreation services industries both experienced the lowest instances of security breaches at seven percent of cases each.
However, of the breaches experienced, transport industries suffered the highest insances of downtime, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing.