Small business owners are guilty of “shocking” levels of website neglect, according to new research.
Cambridge-based web design and marketing firm Netflare conducted a survey at the end of 2007 covering 19 small business sectors.
The company discovered that 23 per cent of websites looked at had not been updated since their launch, making much of their content inaccurate or obsolete. The average age of a website was four years.
But perhaps the most revealing figure, given the huge growth in consumers using the internet to buy goods and services, was that a mere eight per cent of respondents had an e-commerce element on their sites.
“We were completely staggered by the tiny percentage of small business owners who were actively using their websites to generate sales,” said Jon Beal, managing director of Netflare.
“Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that consumers spent Â£102bn in online purchases in the UK alone between 2005-2006.”
Ironically, Netflare found that, when asked what they wanted from their websites, a majority said that the idea was to increase sales.
“It is beyond comprehension that small business owners are ignoring one of the fastest growing sales opportunities there has ever been,” said Beal.
“It seems that, once small business owners have a website, they do not really know what to do with it so they ignore it.”
It’s very shocking how so many small businesses actually neglect the power of internet sales. Hopefully now that they’re more aware of what they are actually missing out on, they will take a step forward and learn what they need to make a successful business website. If they do, the chances that their sales were to grow would increase considerably.