I went to a very interesting talk about How NZ Businesses Use the Net, hosted by the French New Zealand Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNZCCI) and given by Julian Smith from MYOB and I thought I’d share some of the astonishing stats from Julian’s research.
For starters…less than 1/3 of NZ businesses have a website.
I thought that was a pretty shocking number considering that 50% of businesses agree that they would be more profitable if they used the Internet for marketing and 66% think the “Internet is a critical channel for marketing and promoting their business”. A website should be part of your marketing strategy but there are other avenues to explore that can generate interest and sales like Facebook and Twitter. At the very least, register your business and yourself on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories.” Doesn’t sound like such a bad place to be, does it?
As for Facebook, it’s hard to ignore the fact that many of our friends, family and acquaintances spend a good amount of time there. According to Facebook’s stats, they have about 500 million active users with about 50% of their active users logging in every day. Whether or not you have a website, set up a Facebook page for your business and start marketing yourself online. You can make announcements, share interesting stories and videos and interact with your customer base as well as potential customers. It only takes a few minutes a day to keep in touch and stay in the mind of those who might eventually need your services.
“Only 19% of businesses are using search engines (like Google) to market their business.”
I know you’re thinking, Google Ad Words and yes, there’s that, but what I’ve discovered with 99% of my new clients is that they haven’t registered themselves with Google as a local business. Do you know how easy that is and how beneficial it can be? If you search on Google, for example, for “freelance web design auckland” you’ll see that my site appears second (after the adverts). The place listings appear high on the page, so even though my site doesn’t actually appear in the regular listings on the first page, my place page listing does. Set up your own place page by going to Google Places.
“⅔ of NZ consumers research online before making a purchase.”
That’s huge. Even if you don’t want to sell your products online at least consider putting information about your products online. If your competitors don’t have their products online you’ll be at an advantage and if they do have their product online you’ll be helping consumers make an informed decision.
I have many more interesting statistics to share with you so get in touch if you’re keen to learn more. Generally I was surprised by Julian’s statistics but hopeful as well. There’s a lot of room for for growth and potential for New Zealand businesses online.