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formstack-small-business-internet-integration-mar11.gifLess than half (45%) of small businesses have websites, according to data analyzed by online form builder Formstack. However, this figure, recorded by Discover Credit Cards in 2009, still represents roughly 36% growth from 33% in 2007.

Formstack defines a small business as having maximum annual sales of less than $5 million.

Small Biz Owners Don’t See Internet Need

formstack-small-business-without-website-mar11.gifThe most common reason given by small business owners lacking a website is that their business currently does not need one (41%). This is more than double the percent who gave the next-most-popular answer, cost (19%). The other leading reason is lack of time (16%).

Thirteen percent of new small businesses plan on getting a website for their business.

Only 1/3 of Small Biz Sites Include E-commerce

formstack-small-business-with-e-commerce-mar11.gifOnly about one-third (30%) of small businesses which have a website use it for e-commerce. The dominant use for websites by small businesses is general information (80%). This is almost double the percentage citing the next-most-popular use, customer service (45%), and is also far greater than the percentage capturing online leads (35%).

E-commerce Grows with Annual Sales

formstack-small-business-annual-sales-mar11.gifUnsurprisingly, small businesses are generally more likely to engage in e-commerce as their annual sales volume grows. However, small businesses generating $1 to $2.49 million annually are slightly more likely (69%) than small businesses generating $2.5 to $4.9 million (67%) to perform e-commerce.

However, both these figures dwarf the e-commerce percentages of small businesses generating annual sales of $500,000 to $999,000 (49%) and $100,000 to $499,000 (45%).

Other Findings

  • Thirteen percent of online small businesses plan to put more money toward social networking, while slightly larger percentages plan to increase spending on email marketing (15%) and their website (17%).
  • About 9% of online retailers (all sizes) engage in m-commerce.
  • 37% of smartphone users have purchased an item via m-commerce.
  • US e-commerce retail sales totaled $41.5 billion in Q3 2010, up 4.2% from $36.5 billion in Q3 2009.

SMB Marketers Segment Emails by Preference, Behavior

Small-to-midsized business (SMB) marketers are primarily interested in segmenting emails by recipient preferences and behaviors, according to a recent study by GetResponse. The “2010 Email Marketing Trends Study” indicates that almost six in ten SMB marketers (59.4%) plan to segment their emails according to interest-based preferences of the recipients. The second most popular technique, segmenting emails based on recent recipient open or click-rate activity, was selected by 34.9% of recipients.

About the Data: Formstack analyzed data from sources including Barlow Researchers, Discover Credit Cards, E-Marketer, Internet Retailer, Jupiter Research, and the US Census Bureau.

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