Canada’s businesses missing Internet opportunities: RBC

Only 46% of Canadian businesses have websites and fewer than half of those (48%) are selling products and services through those sites, according to a just-released RBC Royal Bank survey.

Only 46% of Canadian businesses have websites and fewer than half of those (48%) are selling products and services through those sites, according to a just-released RBC Royal Bank survey.

Those numbers indicate missed business opportunities, according to RBC.

“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,” said Jim Mulligan, RBC’s national director of retail.

“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.”

The RBC survey found that 38% of businesses that sell through their websites generate more than 25% of their sales through online sales. It found that 22% of businesses selling through websites generate more than 50% of their revenue through that channel.

The survey also found that 61% of Canadian entrepreneurs aren’t yet using social media to promote their businesses.

Mulligan said social media use can generate many benefits for entrepreneurs, including:

  • improved market awareness;
  • more lead-generation opportunities;
  • increased relationship-building opportunities with existing customers and prospects;
  • better reputation monitoring; and
  • additional traffic to existing websites.

While Statistics Canada has identified that 80% of Canadians are online, only 20% of the entrepreneurs RBC surveyed said that keeping up with new technology is among their top challenges.

jwagler@biv.com

@jennywagler