60% of UK small businesses still not online

A recent report suggests that 60% of UK small businesses are yet to “get online”. So what’s stopping them?

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Big or small, consumer or B2B, local or international, the internet has something to offer every business in one way or another. It’s obvious, isn’t it?

For us, whom live of our life online, maybe, but for the majority of UK small businesses, the internet is still a very daunting prospect.

A recent report by BaseKit, whom spoke to 500 UK small business owners, suggests that 60% of UK small businesses are yet to “get online” and experience the possibilities that the world wide web has to offer.

Of the portion of businesses that have embraced “online”, few appear to be making the most of it.

  • just 16% are very proud of their websites
  • 11% admit to using out of date technology
  • 11% describe their online presence as “poor” or “embarrassing”
  • 25% are envious of their competitor’s websites
  • 25% are able to process a transaction online
  • 9% have mobile-friendly websites
  • 18% have non-SEO’d websites
  • 19% integrate social media with their websites

It’s perhaps a lack of technical knowledge (and the associated costs) that’s attracting more business owners to free-to-use social networks. Of the 500 surveyed, over a third said that they now use Facebook to drum up new customers, more so than local business directories or print ads. The most popular channels were revealed as follows:

  • Facebook – 36%
  • Local business directories – 27%
  • Print advertising – 21%
  • Online advertising – 20%
  • Twitter – 17%
  • Trade publications – 14%


Mobile is, and has been a hot topic of debate for some time now. For businesses, a website alone isn’t enough, unless it performs well on a mobile phone and tablet. It’s a rapidly evolving trend, with almost half of UK consumers now being smartphone owners, a figure that’s almost doubled over the past few years. Put simply, businesses without a mobile-friendly site are missing out on potential business opportunities. In fact, an entirely different study suggests that 82% of mobile purchases are made on the iPad in the UK – a staggering statistic that UK businesses simply can’t ignore.

While just 9% of the respondents surveyed said that their websites are mobile-friendly, only half of respondents claimed to be “concerned” or “very concerned” about keeping up to date with technology. In contrast, 10% are “very unconcerned” and 38% had no opinion.

The report confirmed a mutual feeling amongst business owners; that if they don’t harness the web more effectively, they are in danger of becoming “digital dinosaurs.”

While the huge potentials of the web shouldn’t be ignored, for small businesses, with modest marketing budgets and limited knowledge, embracing it is easier said than done. However, with so many different digital channels out there, there’s no reason for any business to go without a web presence, entirely.

If you’re a small business owner, we would love to hear your thoughts, and how you’re making the most of the web.

Visit http://www.basekit.com/digital-dinosaurs to download the report in full.

Image via andresrueda.

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