More than half the public (55%) find it difficult to support local firms because many of these businesses aren’t online.

Today is Cyber Monday, the one-day only frenzy of massive online discounts and the busiest day of internet shopping all year. The annual spend-a-thon sees online retailers slash prices for one day only, just three weeks from Christmas. Goods commonly bought via the web, such as electronics, are heavily discounted.  Experian predicts UK consumers will spend £649.6m online today or £451,000 a minute – a 26% increase on Cyber Monday last year.

Whatever your views on Cyber Monday it is certainly more tasteful than the scenes we saw on Black Friday when police had to be called to stores across the UK to deal with people coming to blows over 40″ TV’s.  Also unlike Black Friday, online retailers don’t need to organise security staff, late night openings or rely on the emergency series to ensure everything runs smoothly. So it’s a lot easier to for a business of any size to capitalize on this once a year event.

But it’s not all about Cyber Monday.

However once it’s all over and things calm down the online shops will still stay open 24/7.  Hardy a revelation I admit but did you know that..

  1. Figures from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills show that as many as two million (39%) sole traders and small companies are missing out on business because they have no online presence.
  2. In addition, more than half of customers (52%) go straight to search engines when looking to buy from local businesses, nearly double the number that ask for word-of-mouth recommendations.
  3. With total website sales in the UK worth £164 billion, small businesses and sole traders could be missing out without a digital presence.
  4. In the run-up to Cyber Monday on December 1, which last year saw 115 million visits to retail websites by UK Internet users, the government is helping micro-businesses and sole traders to increase their digital skills.
  5. The government research, based on a sample of 2,191 people, shows that consumers are looking to the internet more than ever to find small local businesses and sole traders.
  6. Some 73% of respondents say it is very important that they are able to find a company online if they are going to give it their custom, with 57% agreeing that if they can’t find any evidence of a business online they are reluctant to give it any business at all.

So whilst your business may have missed Cyber Monday 2014 it still makes economic sense to be able to sell your products on line.
Measures to help businesses become more digitally active include £2 million of funding to 22 Local Enterprise Partnerships to help small local businesses increase their digital presence and a campaign will be launched to bring small business owners to the new resources and advice on how to do more with their business online at www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/domoreonline.

Business and enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock says, ‘Thousands of potential customers are searching online for local small businesses and without an online profile businesses will lose out.

‘To make sure consumers get the best deal and small businesses spread their nets far and wide, the government is investing in expert advice to help them do more online. I am committed to making the UK the best place in the world to start up and grow, and this is integral to achieving that.’

Government entrepreneur-in-residence, Simon Devonshire says, ‘Government research suggests that nearly two million UK businesses are not online, and of those that do have an online presence; over two thirds are not transactional.

I cannot think of a business to whom being online is not now vital to their trade, irrespective of their ambition to grow. I think those businesses that embrace the digital opportunity are improving their opportunity to reduce costs; to scale-up; and possibly even export – giving a further boost to the UK economy.

So why don’t you contact Fluid Web Development today to find out how we can help you sell your goods on line and be visible to the 73% of shoppers who believe it is very important that they are able to find a company online if they are going to give it their custom. Let’s not forget the 57% agreeing that if they can’t find any evidence of a business online they are reluctant to give it any business at all.

 

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