One In Three Aussie SMBs Planning International Growth, According to New Research

One In Three Aussie SMBs Planning International Growth, According to New Research

February 10, 2022 at 8:00 AM EST

New study reveals key motivations of Australian SMBs to reach global customers

  • A new ‘Global Empowerment’ study commissioned by Amazon Australia, which surveys the international growth ambitions of Australian SMBs, reveals that almost a third have recently launched or plan to expand to new countries within the next two years
  • A quarter of Aussie SMBsneed more tools, knowledge, and support to begin their global journeys
  • More than 11,000 Australian businesses now sell through Amazon’s stores, recording sales of 25 million products globally in the past year

1st February 2022: One third of Australian small and medium business owners plan to expand internationally in the next two years, according to a new Global Empowerment study commissioned by Amazon Australia.

Many Australian SMBs have their sights set on North American customers with more than one in five already operating or hoping to expand to one of the world’s largest regions. Trans-Tasman business growth tops the list, with more than one in three businesses already operating in or planning to expand into New Zealand closer to home.

The study, which surveyed a national sample of Australian SMBs, reveals business owners’ aspirations to increase revenue, expand their customer base and future proof their business as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. More than three in four SMBs with existing international footprints cited the impact of COVID-19 as a factor encouraging them to consider global growth.

Alongside the study, new data revealed by Amazon on the growing success of Australian businesses selling in its global stores shows the potential for e-commerce to support global ambitions.

More than 11,000 Australian businesses, many of which are SMBs, now sell through Amazon and sold more than 25 million units across its Australian and international stores in the past year. Currently, 60% of Australian sellers export their products through Amazon to international customers, with export sales by Australian sellers increasing by 30% on the prior year.

New research into Australian SMB’s global ambitions

Further insights from the Global Empowerment study include:

  • Key motivators for growth: Whilst increase in revenue (49%) and expanding customer base (43%) are key motivators for SMBs to grow internationally, future proofing of the business (28%), and the personal sense of achievement (28%) also score highly
  • Pandemic drives export consideration: Almost a third of Australian SMBs with existing international footprints agreed that operating in other countries enabled them to navigate the challenges of COVID. Two-thirds of existing exporters recognised an increase in global sales over the past 18 months, and 77% cite the impact of COVID as a factor encouraging them to consider further international expansion.
  • No regrets: For those SMBs who have already expanded to international countries, 96% have no regrets, and over 80% wished they’d embarked on their global journey sooner. With over a quarter reducing risks during low sales periods by leveraging peak seasons in other regions, and more than 60% increasing their customer base, it’s not surprising to see almost 80% now planning to expand to additional countries within the next 12 months.

SMBs’ hunger for support on global growth journeys

Despite a clear desire to expand internationally, the study found that a quarter of SMBs admitted to feeling overwhelmed, and 1 in 5 unsure of where to begin. More than 1 in 4 Aussie SMBs feel that they don’t have the right tools, support or knowledge to expand globally on their own. Local businesses are hungry for support across the following categories:

  • Cost effective solutions to handle shipping and fulfilment (28%)
  • Navigating local legal and compliance requirements (32%)
  • International marketing support (30%)
  • Local taxation advice (34%)
  • Mentorship (23%)

Amit Mahto, Head of Amazon Marketplace Australia, said that more local businesses were now harnessing Amazon’s hundreds of millions of worldwide active customer accounts, fulfilment services, and hundreds of seller tools, features and educational resources to support their international growth.

“With so much to think of when reaching overseas customers – from navigating local compliance requirements, product fulfilment, whilst building an understanding and marketing to a completely new audience – the small business seller faces many potential challenges,” said Mahto.

“We aim to be a destination where local sellers harness the benefits of Amazon’s brand recognition, tools and features to help them list and manage products, and our fulfilment services around the world. We’re extremely proud and humbled by the diverse and ever-growing community of sellers building their businesses with our global stores.”

Amazon Australia has launched over 100 new features, tools and services for its local sellers since January 2019.

Penny Skateboards ramps up US success with Amazon

Brisbane-based Penny Skateboards embarked on a journey with Amazon in late 2019 to expand their international e-commerce channels. As they continue to infiltrate the US skateboard scene, the past 12 months has seen Penny Skateboards recognise $1.73 million in revenue through Amazon globally.

Nathan Reid, Head of Operations at Penny Skateboards said: “Whilst we previously had a presence in the US, selling through Amazon has enabled us to catapult our sales and reach a huge range of American customers. We were fortunate enough to integrate our e-commerce system with Amazon and set up US fulfilment solutions just before the first wave of COVID hit, meaning our sales have been able to thrive during the pandemic without encountering any issues with overseas fulfilment.

“From its Olympics debut to its increasing popularity with influencers around the globe, we need to ensure our marketing campaigns move fast to leverage the skateboarding renaissance. Amazon’s easy to activate marketing tools enable us to do exactly that. With our mission to help people all around the world to get on a board and have fun without boundaries or expectations, we’re getting set to expand our e-commerce further in Canada, Mexico, UK and Europe with Amazon.” 

For more information, and to learn more about selling globally with Amazon, head to:

To explore and shop with local businesses on Amazon, head to



  • Amazon Australia seller data sourced between the period of 1/9/2020 - 31/8/2021
  • All data unless stated otherwise is from the ‘Global Empowerment’ study commissioned by Amazon Australia and conducted by McCrindle in October 2021, surveying 1,003 Australian small to medium sized business owners. The survey is a random sample of the general population of SMB business owners across Australia, and not a survey of Amazon third-party sellers.

About Amazon Australia

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalised recommendations, Prime, Fulfilment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

More about Amazon Seller Tools

Hero tools and services from Amazon’s SMB support offering include:

  • Seller Central: An online portal for your Amazon business and a one-stop shop for managing inventory, pricing, orders, performance analysis, and more
  • Delivery and logistics
    • Multi-Channel Fulfilment (MCF): Sellers can choose to send all or some of their inventory directly to an Amazon fulfilment centre. When customers purchase products on the sellers’ website or another third-party sales channel, Amazon can also receive these orders and assist with packaging and shipping directly to customers.
  • General seller education and resources: Amazon provides sellers with a wealth of educational resources on how to sell in the Amazon Store, including videos, webinars and events.

Disclaimers and notes on methodology

Australian businesses were identified based on the country of origin information provided by sellers to Amazon.