The Internet remains uncharted territory for
Canadian businesses: RBC Poll
Less than half of Canadian Businesses have a dedicated website
TORONTO, February 27, 2013 - According to a recent
RBC small business survey, only 46 per cent of Canadian small
businesses have a dedicated website, and less than half (48
per cent) of those businesses say they sell their products
and services through their websites.
"With the majority of consumers choosing to research
and shop for products and services online, businesses without
a web presence are missing a significant opportunity,"
says Jim Mulligan, national director, Retail, RBC Royal Bank.
"Businesses need to be visible where consumers choose
to be, so investing in an online strategy is fundamental to
attract new customers and stay competitive."
In fact, 56 per cent of the entrepreneurs in the survey rate
finding and keeping clients as one of the top business challenges
that they will face over the next year, yet only 41 per cent
of those surveyed promote their business using a dedicated
According to Statistics Canada, more than 80 per cent of
the Canadian population is online; and a report by the Boston
Consulting Group predicts that Canada's Internet economy will
grow 7.4 per cent annually through 2016. Although this represents
a significant opportunity for small businesses, twenty per
cent of entrepreneurs admit that keeping up to date with technology
is among their top challenges.
"It is always challenging for small merchants to stay
abreast of new technologies and to find the capital to grow
their independent businesses," said Diane J. Brisebois,
president and CEO of Retail Council of Canada, adding that
RBC in collaboration with Retail Council are investing in
tools and resources to assist small merchants in capitalizing
on the benefits of an online presence.
"Small merchant online and social media strategies can
result in market growth and greater profitability," noted
When it comes to social media, only 39 per cent of entrepreneurs
surveyed say that they use social media to promote their business.
Mulligan adds that engaging in social media offers many positive
benefits for entrepreneurs, citing the following examples:
- Improved market awareness;
- More lead generation opportunities;
- Increased relationship building opportunities with existing
customers and prospects;
- Better reputation monitoring; and
- Additional traffic to existing web sites.
The RBC survey also found that four-in-10 (38 per cent) businesses
that sell via their company website generate over 25 per cent
of their revenue through their online sales, with two-in-10
(22 per cent) generating more than 50 per cent of their revenue
For more information on e-commerce, please visit the RBC
Advice Centre at rbc.com/techwebseries.
About RBC Small Business Banking
If you are a small business entrepreneur who is starting
a business, managing
growth, or considering succession
planning, the RBC
Advice Centre can help answer your questions. Free interactive
tools and calculators provide customized information covering
many facets of business
finance. In addition, online advice videos and free webinars
are provided regularly to answer questions that are top of
mind with small business owners. With the guidance of RBC
business advisors, small business owners have access to free,
no obligation professional advice about RBC products and services.
For more assistance, please visit rbcadvicecentre.com.
About the RBC Ipsos Reid Small Business Survey
These are some of the findings of an RBC/Ipsos Reid survey
conducted from August 9 to 20. This online survey of 1,004
small business owners, who were either self-employed or owned
their own small business, was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say
Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results
are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are
employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's
composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population
according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from
the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to
approximate a probability sample. An unweighted, probability
sample of this size, with 100 per cent response rate would
have an estimated margin of error of ±3 per cent, 19
times out of 20. Margins of error for subgroups will be higher.
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For more information, please contact:
RBC Corporate Communications, 416 313-5001
RBC Corporate Communications,
RBC Corporate Communications, 905 606-1425