Summerland businesses urged to go online

Many small and medium sized businesses do not have the online presence they need.

While most Canadian consumers will do online research before making a purchase, many small and medium sized businesses do not have the online presence they need, business leaders say.

Christine Petkau, manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, said roughly 80 per cent of Canadian consumers do online research before making a spending decision, but 30 per cent of small and medium businesses do not have a web presence.

She added that while specific figures are not available for Summerland, the online presence here appears to be lower than for the rest of the country.

She said websites, a Facebook page and Twitter updates are part of a complete media package.

However, for a number of Summerland businesses, the only online presence is a single profile page on the Summerland Chamber’s website.

She said a good website, with information about the products and services sold as well as testimonials, core values and a mission statement, can help customers make their decisions.

“I always want to find out a little more,” she said.

“Only a website provides you with a range of services a company may be providing.”

This week, during Small Business Week, the chamber has held events and sessions on social media and online promotion of businesses.

Petkau said those businesses with a strong presence on the Internet, including social media, stood to gain 22 per cent more in sales than those without a web presence.