Are websites a must-have for all retailers?
A new survey finds that 23 percent of small retailers do not have a website.
Asked why, the top answers were:
- Social media satisfies all online business needs, 33 percent;
- We’ve never needed one, 32 percent;
- We’ve focused on our niche, 29 percent;
- Most of our customers don’t go online, 29 percent;
- Don’t have a large enough staff, 26 percent;
- Don’t have money to build one, 26 percent;
- Don’t know how to create/run a website, 24 percent;
- It’s a waste of time, 21 percent.
The survey from Digital.com, which provides reviews for website tools, was taken in early May and featured 1,250 small retailers (500 or fewer employees) across a range of channels.
A survey of 500 smaller businesses from last December from Top Design Firms, an online directory, found that 28 percent of respondents have no website. Limited resources were found to present challenges in building and maintaining websites. Almost half (46 percent) of those with websites have in-house employees doing web management and 32 percent use DIY website builders to create a basic website. Only about one-third (34 percent) partner with an agency.
The recent surveys did indicate possible progress relative to a 2019 survey of 529 small businesses from Visual Objects, a website design directory, that found 40 percent of small businesses chose not to invest in a website.
Of those without websites, 28 percent said a website is irrelevant to their company’s needs. Visual Objects said these companies tend to leverage their personal networks and traditional marketing strategies, such as email and PR, to generate business. Other reasons not to have a website included cost, cited by 23 percent, and being able to use social media for web presence, 13 percent.
The Visual Objects survey likewise found about half of those with websites (52 percent) keeping maintenance in-house. The top-three challenges were identified as low website traffic, cited by 19 percent; competition, 19 percent; and lack of time/knowledge for website maintenance, 15 percent.
- Despite pandemic, 1 in 4 small retail businesses still don’t have a website – Digital.com
- Digital.com Survey Reveals 1 in 4 Small Retailers Don’t Have a Website Despite Surge in Online Shopping – Digital.com/PRWeb
- 28 percent of Small Businesses Don’t Have a Website, According to New Survey Data – Top Design Firms/PRNewswire
- More Than One-Third of Small Businesses Have No Website, Survey Finds – Visual Objects/PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are there legitimate reasons for smaller retailers to go without a website? What advice would you have about overcoming the common obstacles to both building and maintaining a website?