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Survey Reveals Small Businesses Struggling to Keep Up With Web Evolution

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (Marketwired) — 04/23/13 — Today announced the findings of a comprehensive study of small businesses- online strategies, with (54 percent) of SMBs saying they are concerned with technology outpacing their ability to compete. The study reveals that many are suffering from pervasive web woes — falling behind the curve when it comes to implementing available technologies and updating meager websites that could help them eclipse competitors and keep pace with big enterprises online.

Conducted by the Incyte Group in January, the survey indicated an overwhelming response from small businesses who say fixing, improving or even totally overhauling their websites will be a major priority in 2013. Given a blank check, would choose a new website over all other marketing investments, more than double the response to the second-ranking (15 percent) paid search campaigns. Findings indicate that they may not be setting their websites up for success — that is, neither offering the information, resources and experience that customers and prospects desire, nor learning about ways to engage and retain visitors.

did not use an analytics tool (such as Google Analytics) to measure website performance.

do not feel they have the tools to make sense of their site analytics or take action to resolve issues.

do not have a mobile website or know if their website is mobile compatible (35 percent and 25 percent, respectively).

“Small businesses know how important their web presence is for presenting a desirable online identity and attracting new customers, yet don-t fully understand how to achieve those goals, implement new technologies, or adapt to new trends as deftly as larger companies,” said Phillip Klien, CEO of SiteApps. “Especially shocking is how few small businesses utilize tools like Google Analytics to measure their website performance — that-s like flying blind in a storm. There-s a clear need here for simple, non-technical online marketing solutions.”

With only of small businesses saying they successfully achieved their marketing goals in 2012, the study revealed that time required to implement () and complacency (satisfied with current tactics) are leading indicators for the slow adoption of new online technologies. Looking forward to 2013, the website will play a central role in achieving success in marketing.

– while email holds the top slot (37 percent), websites were a close second customer acquisition tool (32 percent), well above print media (16 percent), social media (7 percent), review sites such as Yelp (4 percent), and search marketing offerings such as Adwords (4 percent).

plan to focus the majority of online marketing efforts on new design and content for their website. This trumped website enhancements that would create a targeted, personalized experience for customers (29 percent), external-website marketing efforts such as social media (18 percent) or pay-per-click campaigns (12 percent).

plan to improve their website with the most popular choice of action being design/aesthetic (41 percent), followed by new static content (33 percent), targeting and personalization (26 percent), integrated social feeds (20 percent) and interactive widgets (18 percent)(1).

Of those that don-t anticipate any website updates this year, don-t feel they need to and say the website is not a priority. Ultimately, cost was only a factor for the companies with 20 or fewer employees in the decision to not upgrade technology or improve websites.

When it comes to paying for these improvements, anticipate spending less than $1000 on their websites. will spend between $1,000 and $10,000.

While 2012 was a year in which small businesses continued to struggle in closing the gap for social media adoption, 2013 holds promise for growth in this arena. However, it may also be a make-or-break year for several social media channels themselves among small businesses.

41 percent say Facebook is the most effective social media channel to reach customers, although a majority of 47 percent chose “none,” followed by LinkedIn (10 percent), Twitter (2 percent) and Pinterest, which was the choice of 0 percent of respondents.

More than half (51 percent) said social media wasn-t a component of their online marketing efforts in 2012. However, in the new year, 47 percent say sites such as Facebook and Twitter hold the most promise for moving the sales needle over new payment options like Square (20 percent), sales software like Salesforce (14 percent), selling platforms like Etsy (13 percent), or flash sites like Groupon (6 percent).

The study took place from January 2 to 5, 2013 and polled 245 randomly selected small business owners, CEOs and senior executives across industries via online survey. Small businesses were defined as companies with 2-250 employees. The sample was stratified and scaled to represent the US market as defined in the Small Business Administration-s 2010 census.

The study was commissioned by SiteApps, the first tool for small businesses to decipher web analytics and offer over 200 web applications for easy website personalization, and conducted by the Incyte Group, an independent research firm. SiteApps executives are available to discuss both the findings of the survey and other ongoing website technology trends within the SMB market.

SiteApps is the first web tool for small businesses to easily personalize their current websites for customers. It evaluates a company-s Google Analytics data to recommend apps for their site that will help them address issues and capitalize on missed opportunities. More than 200 applications, from social media widgets to payment widgets, can be easily installed onto any website to better attract and retain customers. SiteApps continuously reviews the analytics to track the effectiveness of the apps and make ongoing recommendations that help transform a business- online presence from web 1.0 to 3.0. SiteApps, headquartered in San Francisco, was created by Brazilian digital marketing company . In 2011, Predicta was named one of “” by Fast Company for the SiteApps platform. For more information about SiteApps, visit .

The Incyte Group is a Silicon Valley consulting firm specializing in applying analytics that optimize business strategy. We partner with technology companies, technology-focused venture capital firms, and technology-based private equity firms to identify their most strategic opportunities and optimal strategies for capturing them by creating value based competitive advantage. Our approach uses analytic tools to provide our clients with deep insight into the dynamics of their market. To ensure that all available resources are considered as potential strategic elements, we use close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients align their organizations behind the strategy, achieve competitive advantage, and maximize the impact on their bottom line.

(1) Respondents could choose up to two options, leading to percentage sums exceeding 100.

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LaunchSquad for Predicta
Nicole Phelan or Kira McCroden
predicta [at] launchsquad [dot] com

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