2 million businesses in the UK don’t have a website

do business by without a website

It might be surprising, or even shocking, but quite a lot of entrepreneurs in the UK still do business without a website.

New research by Approved Index, a B2B comparison site for business services, has revealed the number of UK SMEs operating without a website and calculated the predicted uplift in revenue if they were to launch a new site, by industry sector and business size.

Key findings of the report include:

  • 1.98 million SMEs do not have websites, costing them over £343 billion each year
  • Introducing a website could equate to an average uplift in revenue of £173,769 per business
  • Small-sized businesses stand to make the largest growth in revenue – £106 billion per year if they introduce a website

The research investigated the number of UK SMEs operating without a website and calculated the predicted uplift in revenue if they were to launch a new site by industry sector and business size.

Despite living in a digital age where consumers’ first point of call is the internet, the results revealed that some 1.98 million SMEs currently have no online presence, costing them a mammoth £343 billion every year.

Approved Index concluded that introducing a website could equate to an average uplift in turnover of £173,769 per business.

When broken down by business size, the report threw up some surprising findings, most notably that businesses functioning without a team of employees – sole proprietors with one self-employed manager or just one employed member of staff – are also the biggest segment of companies who do not have a web presence – some 1.5 million enterprises.

Small-sized businesses – those with 10-49 employees – stand to make the biggest additional contribution to the economy – Approved Index forecasts a revenue growth of £106 billion per year if these organisations introduced a website as part of their marketing strategy.

The report showed that SMEs who operate in the Retail, Transport and Food industry sector without a website lose out on the biggest revenue collectively.

With over 330,000 SMEs not having a website, businesses in these industries could be generating an additional turnover of £150 billion.

Most interestingly, medium-sized businesses in this industry sector stand to make an impressive gain if they were to develop a website for their business, with an average predicted uplift of £16.7 million per business, each year.

The Primary and Construction industry sector, comprising of agricultural, energy, manufacturing and construction companies, followed the Retail, Transport and Food sector in the rankings for the second largest amount of turnover that could be earned through introducing company websites, equating to $103B.

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The Primary and Construction sector has the highest number of companies without websites, 653,453. The majority of these are made up of 513,176 No Employee businesses – companies that are sole proprietorships and partnerships with only a self-employed owner, or companies with just one employee, assumed to be an employee director.

If No Employee businesses were to introduce company websites, they could see an annual revenue uplift of over £32,650.

Cameron Blair from Approved Index comments: “Today’s consumers are more savvy than ever before because they have so much information at their disposal to aid almost every purchasing decision and this research often starts by heading to a brand’s website.

“Whether a business is online or offline, the majority of active customers will turn to the web first to help them find relevant companies, and reports have shown that consumers are far more trusting of brands with a quality website.

“Our findings prove that businesses who continue to ignore the importance of a website run the risk of losing millions of pounds to competitors.”