Although small- and medium-enterprises (SME) in Australia are recognising the inevitable need to have online presence, their actual online activity leaves much to be desired.
A study by business management solutions provide MYOB released Tuesday found that while the number of SMEs with Web sites increased to 38 per cent from 36 per cent in March, use of online tools such as e-mail marketing, social media and e-commerce, actually dipped by 7 per cent to 24 per cent from 31 per cent for the same period.
The SMEs used less social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and networking sites such as Linkedin to market their products and services based on the 3 and 6 per cent, respectively, decline of usage.
Other major findings of the study which had about 1,000 respondents are that more SMEs are suffering from revenue declines than increases, and many are not optimistic of a short-term economic recovery. MYOB Chief Executive Officer Tim Reed theorised that one reason behind the lesser online activity is the focus of the business owners on the financial health of their enterprises.
He urged SMEs to embrace technology, citing data in 2011 which showed that businesses with Web sites had 53 per cent higher chances of experiencing a revenue hike and 23 per cent actually enjoyed a revenue boost as against only 15 per cent which had an income increase even without an online presence.
"With Australia's Internet audience reaching 16.2 million in May 2012 (Nielsen) it surprises me that so many business operators have not yet realised the value of having a simple Web site containing their contact details. Web sites are a great way to attract new customers and to keep existing customers loyal, which can only have a positive effect on cashflow," Mr Reed was quote by IT Wire.
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