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Online SMBs performing better than offline counterparts, report finds

Businesses with a website are seeing higher financials returns and operating more productively compared to those without a site. Despite this, the potential benefits appear to be falling on deaf ears with less businesses building an online presences.

New research conducted by MYOB has revealed nearly two thirds of Australian SMBs don’t have their own website, while their online peers are performing better and reaping the benefits; generating higher revenue, having a greater number of leads and building customer loyalty.

According to the report, the number of website owners has also also decreased over time, down to 36 per cent in the latest report –  from 38 per cent in the October 2011 report and 39 per cent in March last year.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed is surprised website numbers haven’t increased in the past year, as many are missing out on the chance to become more successful in what he believes to be an increasingly digital economy.

“Our research shows [having a website] they‘re more likely to improve their business performance across customer acquisition, revenue and more.”

The report revealed 30 percent were said to have enjoyed better conversion of leads to sales as a result of being online, supporting Reed’s belief getting online is a key strategy for business looking to increase visibility, credibility and competitive edge.

“The results are clear. Building an online presence is a business move that should be a strategic imperative for most operators,” said Reed.

Despite the decline in websites the report showed an increase in businesses being involved with social media, however Reed believes keeping it basic with a company website allows a business to be easily found.

“Being an effective online player is not about having a complicated website; it’s about enabling your business to be found. With around two thirds of consumers searching the internet before making a purchase decision, if a business has no online presence it’s denying itself some serious firepower.”