Many small businesses miss out on a world of opportunities by not developing a professional online presence to represent their company online. Although small businesses may not see a direct dollar cost of not being online, the missed opportunity cost could be the difference between success and failure for many small businesses. Considering the growth of online and mobile devices and consumers growing comfort with online payments and local searches, small businesses cannot afford to not be participating in the online community.
In 2012 more than 3 in 4 homes have internet access creating new expectations in the minds of consumers about small businesses. With over 89% of consumers expecting businesses to have a website, another 73% also expect to see your business on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well.
Consumers expect organizations to have a website because in 2011, 74% of consumers visited the website of companies that they received a bill from. If your organization cannot be found online, consumers begin to question the legitimacy of your operation. Consumers access biller websites for a variety of reasons with the most popular being to pay an outstanding bill. In 2012 50% of bills are paid online with over 19.3 million consumers paying on a biller-direct website each month.
Mobile technology is continuing to become more mainstream with over 50% of consumers carrying smartphones instead of standard feature phones. The widespread adoption of smartphones is creating incredible new opportunities for businesses with a strong online presence. The increase in smartphone usage has had a direct effect on how consumers search for local information with over 94% of smartphone users searching for local information from their device accounting for 73% of online search activity related to local content.
As the importance of an online and mobile presence continues to quickly grow, our team at Branding Arc assists companies with developing a professional digital presence to engage new customers, and keep your organization plugged into the global community.