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Pictured: Tim Baxter.
DHL Express has revealed data that shows social media is fast becoming a prime tool to driving sales orders for New Zealand exporters. 
Nearly half (43 percent) of New Zealand exporters surveyed stated that they had generated orders through social media. Of those, a third (29 percent) are generating orders via Facebook. 
“Social media is becoming an increasingly crucial communications tool for New Zealand exporters, and these findings indicate that exporters are using this channel in creative and innovative ways,” says DHL Express NZ Country Manager Tim Baxter. 
Approximately half (51 percent) of exporters surveyed stated that they are confident they can improve their export business through the use of social media.
Online commerce in general was identified as a means to increase market reach, as more than 70 percent of exporters have experienced positive outcomes from online commerce through increased visibility, customer reach and business opportunities.
“The online channel continues to be a good vehicle for increasing presence in international markets and this is supported by burgeoning social media activity,” says Baxter. “New Zealanders are well known for being early adopters, and these findings only reinforce that exporters are highly adaptable.
“We are seeing this particularly in younger start-up companies with small businesses using social media most effectively. However many exporters still do not provide pricing and shipping information, or online booking and payment functionality. We think exporters have a great opportunity to enhance the user experience in this area, potentially growing enquiries, and ultimately sales, even further,” says Baxter.
The data was released as entries open for the seventh annual DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship. Designed to identify the country’s hottest up-and-coming fashion exporters and assist them in achieving international growth, the scholarship is open to New Zealand designers who have been exporting for less than five years.
The scholarship has become an early identifier of young talent in New Zealand, with previous winners such as Stolen Girlfriends Club, Lonely Hearts, twenty-seven names and I Love Ugly going on to significant international recognition. 
In a first for the scholarship, inaugural winner Dan Gosling, director and part owner of Stolen Girlfriends Club, will return as a judge on the panel that includes John Kelly, MAX Fashions CEO, Paul Blomfield, chairman at FINZ and Megan Wildermoth, fashion and textiles specialist at DHL.
The winner of the scholarship will receive international freight to the value of NZ$10,000, as well as coaching in freight and logistics from DHL Express. 
A second prize of $1500 and third prize of $500 will also be awarded. All three finalists will receive individual export mentoring and an annual membership subscription from Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ). 
For more information:
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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