Everyone knows a web site is beneficial to business, right? But how universal is that benefit, website hosting company C I Host set out to answer.
C I Host surveyed 5,000 small businesses between May 1 and July 31. It reports that 99% received new customers as a result of their web sites and revenue and profitability improved at 81% as a result of the web site. All of the companies had been in business more than five years at the time of the survey and had launched a web site only within the past year. Each had fewer than 15 employees and revenue of more than $100,000 a year.
"Having a web site is a critical driving force behind any business` success in the current economic climate," says Christopher Faulkner, CEO of C I Host.
The study compared the company`s business before and after adding the potential of e-commerce through a web site. The group included C I Host customers as well as non-customers.
Of those surveyed, 60% said they thought their web site improved their competitive position within their market space and 51% said the web site brought in customers and accounts that previously hadn`t been targeted by their sales force.
"These companies were brick and mortar and within 12 months of becoming click and order they saw huge increases in their businesses," Faulkner said. "Nearly 19% said they sold goods or services to companies outside the United States for the first time because of their web site."
Fort Worth-based C I Host provides web hosting and other Internet services, including domain name registration, and serves 210,000 consumers and businesses in 190 countries.