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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : June 13, 2016

74% of U.S. small businesses have no ecommerce website

It's 2016 and yet, according to a new survey from SurePayroll, nearly three-quarters of small businesses in the U.S. still do not have an ecommerce website.

by Helen Leggatt

Even as we talk about Internet advertising overtaking broadcast television in the U.S. by 2017 and physical stores struggle with the challenge of engaging online shoppers, a sizeable proportion of small businesses in the U.S. still do not have an ecommerce website or use a company website in any way to transact.

SurePayroll's latest Small Business Scorecard reveals that, even this far into an age of online shopping, only a quarter (26%) of small businesses in the U.S. have an ecommerce website - a website on which consumers can make purchases.

It seems unthinkable that 74% of small businesses have seemingly shunned the the Internet for making sales. Twenty-eight percent said they didn't even have a company website. However, 42% of those without a web presence say that "the web really isn't that important to their business".

"Ecommerce sales are skyrocketing and consumers are demanding an easier way to search and pay for products and services, be it just online or more specifically, on their smartphones. If you're not offering this to your customers, there's a chance they'll find a competitor that is," says SurePayroll in a blog post.

While cost could be a reason why many small businesses do not have a website, just 17% of small business owners said they had used a DIY solution such as Wix or Weebly. Instead, of those that did have a website, more than half (52%) had hired a web development firm or creative agency and 20% had hired a freelance developer/designer. Just 11% had the inhouse ability to create their own website.

"It's gotten to the point where it's easy to build yourself a website, but to build one that really functions well for your business and represents your brand is still a challenge," SurePayroll general manager Andy Roe said. "That's why you're seeing the majority still paying professionals to do it for them.

"Setting up an e-commerce site, with all of the technical items that have to be handled correctly, that can be a costly, complicated endeavor for a small business owner. The old fashioned approach to sales - building relationships, making calls, pounding the pavement - is still very much in play."

Tags: ecommerce, small business, U.S., website development

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