E-commerce takes back seat for smaller companies

While the number of small and medium businesses maintaining a web site increased dramatically as compared to last year, e-commerce and customer support web-based applications remain largely untested.

In a recent survey, The Yankee Group found that 54 percent of small businesses (companies with between 20 and 99 employees) and 62 percent of medium businesses (companies with between 100 and 499 employees) maintain a corporate web presence. “What is most surprising is how overall technology goals are not in line with how these companies use the Internet,” said Yankee Group Analyst Michael Lauricella,

The survey found the top technology goals of these small and medium businesses were to improve productivity, foster communications and enhance customer service. However, the top uses of their Internet sites were to provide basic company information, and distribute marketing information. E-commerce and customer support were low on the list of Internet web site usage.

“Small and medium sized companies are still in the process of educating themselves on the importance of having an Internet presence, and what a great equalizer a web site can be.” said Eric Klein, a Yankee Group Small Business Technology Analyst.

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