Less than half of Canadian Businesses have a dedicated website
TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - According to a recent RBC small business
survey, only 46 per cent of Canadian small businesses have a dedicated
website, and less than half (48 per cent) of those businesses say they
sell their products and services through their websites.
"With the majority of consumers choosing to research and shop for
products and services online, businesses without a web presence are
missing a significant opportunity," says Jim Mulligan, national
director, Retail, RBC Royal Bank. "Businesses need to be visible where
consumers choose to be, so investing in an online strategy is
fundamental to attract new customers and stay competitive."
In fact, 56 per cent of the entrepreneurs in the survey rate finding and
keeping clients as one of the top business challenges that they will
face over the next year, yet only 41 per cent of those surveyed promote
their business using a dedicated website.
According to Statistics Canada, more than 80 per cent of the Canadian
population is online; and a report by the Boston Consulting Group
predicts that Canada's Internet economy will grow 7.4 per cent annually
through 2016. Although this represents a significant opportunity for
small businesses, twenty per cent of entrepreneurs admit that keeping
up to date with technology is among their top challenges.
"It is always challenging for small merchants to stay abreast of new
technologies and to find the capital to grow their independent
businesses," said Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO of Retail
Council of Canada, adding that RBC in collaboration with Retail Council
are investing in tools and resources to assist small merchants in
capitalizing on the benefits of an online presence.
"Small merchant online and social media strategies can result in market
growth and greater profitability," noted Brisebois.
When it comes to social media, only 39 per cent of entrepreneurs
surveyed say that they use social media to promote their business.
Mulligan adds that engaging in social media offers many positive
benefits for entrepreneurs, citing the following examples:
Improved market awareness;
More lead generation opportunities;
Increased relationship building opportunities with existing customers
Better reputation monitoring; and
Additional traffic to existing web sites.
The RBC survey also found that four-in-10 (38 per cent) businesses that
sell via their company website generate over 25 per cent of their
revenue through their online sales, with two-in-10 (22 per cent)
generating more than 50 per cent of their revenue this way.
For more information on e-commerce, please visit the RBC Advice Centre
About RBC Small Business Banking
If you are a small business entrepreneur who is starting a business, managing growth, or considering succession planning, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer your questions. Free interactive tools and calculators
provide customized information covering many facets of business finance. In addition, online advice videos and free webinars are provided
regularly to answer questions that are top of mind with small business
owners. With the guidance of RBC business advisors, small business
owners have access to free, no obligation professional advice about RBC
products and services. For more assistance, please visit rbcadvicecentre.com.
About the RBC Ipsos Reid Small Business Survey
These are some of the findings of an RBC/Ipsos Reid survey conducted
from August 9 to 20. This online survey of 1,004 small business owners,
who were either self-employed or owned their own small business, was
conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national
online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling
and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the
sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population
according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos
online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a
probability sample. An unweighted, probability sample of this size,
with 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error
of ±3 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Margins of error for subgroups will
For further information:
Angela Harkey, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 313-5001
Suzanne Willers, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-2727
Margie McNeil, RBC Corporate Communications, 905 606-1425