74 Percent of Small Business Websites Have No eCommerce

Ecommerce Trends - Small Business ecommerce websites

If you’ve been dawdling capitalizing on the ecommerce movement, you’re not alone as a small business owner.

New data from SurePayroll’s monthly Small Business Scorecard shows that only 26 percent of small businesses have an ecommerce site or even use their website in any way to conduct sales. Considering the push for small businesses to create an ecommerce and/or mobile site as a way to connect with customers, this paltry number is a bit surprising.

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Again, 74 percent of small businesses surveyed by SurePayroll don’t have an ecommerce-enabled website.

How could this be? With the ability reach more customers, expand their brand and, of course, generate more sales and make more money, small businesses, you’d figure, would be champing at the bit to get their products or services online.

Well, 42 percent of the small businesses surveyed by SurePayroll say “the Web really isn’t that important to their business.” Twenty-eight percent of the small businesses in the survey said they don’t even have a company website.

So, even though most experts agree on the importance of a website, perhaps it’s the skills required to build an ecommerce site — or a website, in general — that’s keeping small businesses away from the budding sales platform.

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Despite the growing number of DIY website builders — many aimed at small businesses — only 17 percent of that target market have tried them.

More than half (actually, 52 percent) of the business owners surveyed by SurePayroll who did have websites said they hired an agency outside the company to do all their website creation. Another 20 percent said they hired a freelancer. So, cost could be a factor in setting up an ecommerce site with many companies.

Just 11 percent of small business owners say they created their own site using their own skills to do so.

Overall, these numbers are a bit surprising and should be a wake-up call for small business owners everywhere, especially the 42 percent of owners who say the Web isn’t an important part of 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.

Spending an afternoon or evening checking out those numerous DIY website services that are available to small businesses may be hours very well spent. And if your company hired a freelancer or outside firm to create your site initially — and perhaps their invoice scared you out of calling back for updates — it may be wise to pick up the phone or send an email to find out what’s required to update your site to be mobile — and ecommerce-friendly.

Chart: Small Business Trends

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

9 Reactions
  1. This. Is. Depressing.

    I can understand not getting your site set up for ecommerce transactions. That’s more technical, but 42% thinking that the web just isn’t important to their business? That seems like naivety. And if their business is succeeding without the web, imagine what it could do WITH the web?

  2. Such a shame how much money SMEs are leaving on the table by not taking the digital economy seriously.

  3. The sleeping giant Amazon is going to take over small business if they don’t have an eCommerce site. Most Small Business have a hard time keep up with the shipping demands on them. A solution can be use Amazon as their fulfillment engine FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) and they do not have to hire new people and they can go global. They just need to lean how to do this.

  4. Jason brings up some points- they have third party options! The number that surprises me the most is the amount of companies who don’t even have a website! I strongly believe that even a simple site for when someone searches a company to learn more is important- ecommerce isn’t always necessary. These numbers are a shame.

  5. I am a small business owner that would love to have an e-commerce site. The two problems are time and money. I work a full time job elsewhere and do all the bookeeping/paperwork at night. My husband is in the store selling. I don’t know how to go about it, and can’t afford to hire someone to do it for me. If I could justify the money, who do I trust? I have researched it a little and got overwhelmed by technical language I don’t understand. We do have a “do it yourself” web site that I am able to manage, but it’s not that good.

    • I built a web business helping local biz compete with the big box stores and services on the web. Been doing it for over 14 years now. It is afffordable. I take the load off you and handle all things for your website from design to hosting to updates, upgrades, CMS and 100 more areas … $50 a month handles most businesses… design build out of your custom responsive website ( renders well in mobiles to large screen desktops ) is very affordable and based on your needs and objectives … all you give me is your text content for your business and products and the photos you want on the site … I support over 75 live sites, my clients seldom leave me once they find me … no contracts … don’t need them.

    • I am looking into a new platform that promises to be inexpensive and easy to manage. They will be going into beta soon. Look for them. W3bstore.com

  6. I know some business owner they are falling in 42% they are saying website is not important and really their business is going well and said above by Robert if their business is succeding without website what will they do with a good website.
    You know what they say about website is that it is not my need and actually some people are doing business to a limited extend they do not want to grow business which they can not handle alone so there might be a point that still in now days website is not important for some business.