A recent survey by Gallup and Wells Fargo reports that the percentage of small businesses with websites has gone up slightly over the past few years – from 55 percent in Q2 2011 to 59 percent in Q3 2014.
So, how do small businesses with a web presence use their sites? The number one reason stated by 89 percent of respondents was to advertise products and services, 64 percent said they use their websites to solicit feedback from customers, and 63 percent offer visitors the ability to make purchases through an e-commerce shopping site/cart. All respondents said offering an e-commerce solution was a new option for them in 2014.
The majority of respondents admitted that they still use their websites to communicate with customers, suppliers and employees, but the number has dropped 7 percentage points from Q2 2011 to Q3 2014. This is most likely due to advances in platforms designed especially for communication.
In April 2014, a study conducted by Research Now polled small business owners on what website features they use. Following are key findings:
- 49 percent stated video and photos
- SEO came in second at 32 percent
- Reviews came in at 28 percent
- Social media share and follow buttons came in at 28 percent
- Half of all respondents have a mobile site or their website is optimized for mobile
Findings from a third study — conducted by Market Probe International – suggest it would be a wise move for small businesses to increase their mobile website efforts. The majority of respondents (7 out of 10) said offering a mobile website was a tactic that would contribute the most to their overall business strategy.
“What’s the point of small business sites?”. emarketer.com. 9/3/2014.