Web-enabled small and medium enterprises boasted revenues 51% higher, had 49% more profit, and customer bases 7% broader than their offline-only counterparts, said a new industry report. However, only 5% of them had a web presence, said the report compiled by Nathan Associates, which has been jointly released by FICCI and Google.
The report also states that only 51% of online SMBs use the Web to advertise and only 27% use it for e-commerce. But with 95% of businesses yet to even establish a website, there’s a lot of room for growth.
The study showed that Internet use was the highest among SMEs in the IT & ITES, tourism/ transportation, chemical products (96%) and pharmaceuticals (95%).
The most used service by SMEs on the Internet was email (95%) and only 49% of Internet using SMEs surveyed had websites. IT & ITES and hospitality had the highest numbers in this category. SMEs in the B2B space had the lowest number of websites set up.
The study surveyed 951 small and medium enterprises across industrial and geographical clusters in India and found that 69% experienced an increase in customers, 63% an increase in geographic reach and 44% saw an increase in firm employment.
It also said that an SME adopting the Internet is able to grow its customer base by 7% and employment growth by 4%.
The study also found that 61% of Internet-using SMEs are very concerned about the security of online financial and personal transactions.
The reason the report states for the low adoption of internet among SMEs are high IT equipment and connection costs, weak environment for electronic commerce and lack of awareness of Internet use and lack of skills.