At the recent (most excellent) Local Social Summit in London Neal Polachek gave a presentation called “The New Digital Divide.” Using vSplash data he presented considerable evidence that small businesses globally were not keeping pace with changing consumer behavior. The same could be said for many large enterprises.
Today vSplash is out with an infographic that reflects how poorly prepared most small businesses are for the multi-screen holiday shopping barrage about to begin. I won’t post the infographic (so as not to encourage the behavior) but I will post some of the salient data points from it:
Most SMB sites are missing basic information. Amazingly 56% of the SMB sites crawled by vSplah had no street address and 90% offered no maps or directions. Further, 44% had no phone number and 78% offered no email address.
This is just basic contact information that most consumers are going to need in most cases. These needs are even more acute for mobile consumers who typically want phone numbers and addresses so they can confirm inventory, store hours and how to get to business or store locations.
According to vSplah data 98% of SMB sites are not mobile optimized. While this is very consistent with other data, it’s the most extreme number I’ve seen. And most SMBs either have no social media presence or have not linked their pages/accounts to their websites:
There’s more on the infographic but the message is the same: SMB websites are in poor shape and ineffective as marketing or commerce channels. They’re also generally not very visible in search results because of low quality/PageRank scores, poor load times and duplicate content.
There are of course examples of strong SMB websites but they’re the minority. It’s remarkable that 15 years or so after the Web became a mainstream phenomenon this basic issue remains a problem for a majority of the small businesses out there.
In their defense, the world of digital marketing has only become more and more complicated. And SMBs are overwhelmed by all the channels and all the marketing “imperatives” they’re being called upon to answer.