How Small Businesses Are Engaging In Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]

We’ve explored why businesses should get involved in social media, and today we’re going to take a closer look at ecommerce. Ecommerce generated close to $42 billion in retail sales in the third quarter of 2010, a 4% increase over the same quarter in 2009. Even though online sales are growing dramatically, small businesses are integrating ecommerce into their operations at a much slower rate.

According to the infographic below, less than half of small businesses even have a website. This grew only 12 points from 2007 to 2009. What’s the number one reason small business owners don’t have an Internet presence? You might think it’s cost or time like I did, but 41% of private business owners don’t have one because they think they don’t need one. And of those without a website, only 13% plan to create one.

The minor ecommerce presence for private business could be a result of how these smaller companies choose to use their sites. Many (80%) use their websites to simply display general information. Only 30% of companies with sites participate in online sales. Barlow Research found that businesses are more likely to participate in ecommerce when they have larger annual revenue.

Does your small business have a website? Do you use it for sales? If you don’t have website, I would strongly suggest that you create one. Chances are good that your competitors are taking clients away from you via their site.

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About Lindsey Perkins Wade

Lindsey Perkins Wade is managing editor of The Private Business Owner. In addition to her responsibilities with PBO, she is managing editor of Electricity Simplified.

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