Report: businesses desert digital.
Australia’s small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are experiencing a gradual nosedive in online activity, according to the latest research report from business management solutions provider MYOB.
MYOB discovered a significant decline in online transactions, email marketing and social media in its survey of 1004 SME operators for its July 2012 Business Monitor report.
According to the survey, less than one quarter of SMEs used search engines to promote their business in July, down from around one third in March 2012.
Networking on LinkedIn and social media activity also dwindled, with just 15 per cent of companies using Facebook, YouTube and Google+ to connect with customers. Skype and VOIP use was also down; from 20 percent in March to 16 percent.
MYOB CEO Tim Reed said the decline in online business activities was “completely unexpected”.
“Many of these tools, such as a basic LinkedIn page, are free and can be used to raise the profile of a business and to communicate with customers,” Reed said in a statement.
Paying bills on suppliers’ websites, buying products/services online, conducting email-based marketing and accepting online payments from customers also experienced significant drops.
Reed said that a decline in revenue across the industry and the lack of confidence in a short term economic recovery may have contributed to the drop in online activities.
“I suspect this has seen many shy away from online
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