You’re Losing Half Your Customers Because of This One Thing

Date: May 11, 2016 Last Edit: May 12, 2016

A new study reinforces the importance of small businesses entering the digital age.

The digital revolution has taken hold, and small businesses better get on board.

That’s what a new survey from Vistaprint Digital Services has found. Whereas small businesses might once have been able to get by on word of mouth and a few ads, more and more consumers are now gravitating toward those with a strong online presence, according to the survey.

Small businesses are notoriously slow to adopt technology. In fact, about half don’t even have a website, according to a different report from Clutch. And that’s costing them customers. 

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Building a Small Business Website

Here are some of the survey’s most interesting findings:

  • More than 36 percent of respondents said they first find a small business online—1 percentage point more than word of mouth.
  • Three in five say it’s important for small businesses to have a social media presence.
  • Forty-five percent are unlikely to shop at a business with a poor website. As for millennials, only 5 percent said they’d be very likely to visit a business with a poorly designed site.
  • Seventy-five percent said reading reviews before visiting a store is important, and 50 percent said bad reviews would likely prevent them from shopping at a small business.
  • A quarter of millennials use social media to find small businesses—whereas less than 8 percent of baby boomers do.
  • One in five millennials said an inconvenient location would be a deterrent to shopping at a small business, compared with one in three baby boomers.

RELATED: How Millennials Are Disrupting Retail

“Small businesses should understand not only that an online presence is vital to helping them reach new audiences, but that a professional and well-maintained presence can be the difference between a customer walking in the door and choosing to shop elsewhere,” said Scott Bowen, vice president and general manager of Vistaprint Digital Services.

RELATED: How to Connect Online with Local Customers

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