As many as one in four small businesses are yet to have a website. This somewhat startling statistic was unveiled by a survey carried out by Digital.com, providers of reviews to help small businesses locate the best online tools for growth.
The survey was administered by the online survey platform Pollfish in May 2021. It surveyed 1250 owners of small businesses with bricks and mortar stores.
23% of the small businesses surveyed said they don’t have a website. One-third of businesses without a website say they have never needed one, and 29% said their customers don’t go online.
1 in 4 Small Businesses Don’t Have a Website
Digital.com’s findings are surprising given the fact that the last 18 months has seen a prolific rise in online shopping, with consumers being forced to shop on the internet as many shops were closed because of the pandemic.
According to Digital.com’s report, from 2019 to 2020 online retail grew by 5.5%. It stands to reason that such an abundant growth in ecommerce means small businesses need a website to cater for growing online retail demand.
Can Businesses Survive Without a Website?
Dennis Consorte, a small business expert at Digital.com, commented on how, despite the excuses many small business owners make as to not having a website, building a sustainable brand without one in the 21st century is almost impossible.
“E-commerce has been increasing year-over-year for decades. Online shopping is more convenient than in-store shopping, and the old ways of doing business are declining. People are accustomed to researching businesses and services on the internet. The question isn’t whether you need a website. It’s whether you will survive without one and for how long,” said Consorte.
Why Doesn’t a Business Have a Website?
Social media satisfying all online business needs is hailed as the most common reason small businesses don’t have a website. While 33% of the businesses surveyed labelled social media taking care of online requirements as the primary reason for not having a website, 32% said they have never needed one. This was followed by 29% of small business owners putting the reason for not having a website down to focusing on their niche.
Most customers not going online, not having enough staff, and having insufficient funds to build one, were also common reasons for small businesses being void of a website.
24% of the business owners surveyed said that a lack of knowledge in how to create a run a website was the reason they don’t own one. 21% of those surveyed deem websites as a waste of time.
The findings of Digital.com’s report provide important insight into small business owners’ attitudes towards website ownership. Despite the many excuses for not having one, with ecommerce steadily rising and more people researching businesses, services and products online, having a strong online presence, including having a website, is becoming increasingly tantamount with success.