SMEs are failing to embrace the internet

New research suggests that Britain’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not taking full advantage of the sales, growth and networking opportunities offered by the internet.

In a time where social media is king, more than a quarter of UK SMEs do not even have a website, a recent study published on business news website suggests.

This is despite the fact that 67 per cent of consumers claim they will always look up a local business online, via Google or social media, before visiting it in person.

Eleanor Bradley, Chief Operating Officer of Nominet, a not-for-profit organisation campaigning to get businesses connected, says that SMEs are missing a beat.

“With shoppers getting increasingly web-savvy, all SMEs [can] benefit from a basic online presence,” she says

“Without one, chances are that search engines will do the job for you, often inaccurately and putting off would-be customers.”

Ms Bradley suggested that SMEs needed to do more target the “digitally literate” younger generation, who spend a lot of time online and using social media.

“Web browsing has become today’s window shopping,” she said.

“You’d never open a new high street shop without putting up a sign first to advertise your business and a website works in the same way as a digital signpost, telling potential customers about your goods and services.”