Trends

Small business lags behind on the move to mobile: Survey

Cara Waters /

 

Increasing numbers of SMEs have websites for their businesses but the majority are not optimised for mobile, according to research released today by Sensis.

TheSensis eBusiness report, which surveyed 1000 small and medium businesses and 800 Australian consumers about the online experience of SMEs, found 56% of businesses surveyed with internet connections have a website.

The majority of businesses with a website said that having an online presence had improved the effectiveness of their business.

But the study found only 35% of SMEs have optimised their website for mobiles and other devices. 

This is despite 33% of those surveyed upgrading their websites last year and a further 30% upgrading them in the last one to two years.

Of those who have not optimised their website for mobiles 28% intend to optimise their website this year but 56% do not plan to do this. 

SMEs are spending considerable time and money on websites with medium businesses spending $7500 on websites and small businesses spending $2200 in 2014.

Social media is another cost with SMEs spending an average of $6560 last year on their social media presence.

Of those businesses surveyed 31% of SMEs reported using social media in their business with nearly all of those having a Facebook page.

Craig Reardon, founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team, told SmartCompany SMEs are missing out on mobile-optimized websites.

 He said the websites are being created for SMEs which are not “future proof”.

“People when faced with the change are given a quote that is fairly exorbitant for their requirement so they may be putting that off,” Reardon says.

“It’s an unexpected expense not planned for so they then need to go back and find the money to go forward.”

Google announced earlier this year it will give priority to websites that are  optimised when people are searching by mobile devices.

“That means desktop use is not hugely impacted but when people are searching by mobile your website may suffer a hit which is not good for business,” Reardon says. 

Reardon says it is important for SMEs to have a digital strategy in place.

“Much of what SMEs do is knee-jerk and a digital strategy gives you a road map,” he says.

“There are very few industries that have not been impacted by digital and digital needs to be front and centre of the plans for your business.”

 

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Cara Waters

Cara Waters is a former SmartCompany editor. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter for the Financial Times' website and worked for The Sunday Times in London.

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