Spanish Online Business Growing

The Internet has become increasingly important for Spanish businesses, including SMEs and self-employed freelancers. Spanish entrepreneurs have a very clear view of the importance of Internet presence, an advantage that looks set to continue to grow, according to a recent study by Llorente & Cuenca, in collaboration with Hibu, to analyse the situation of SMEs and freelancers.

The main conclusion reached by the analysis is that the transition to the on-line environment is already under-way. In 2012 only 33% of businesses had a website, a percentage that has risen to 48% in the current year. If the study’s predictions are correct, then in 2014 63% of businesses will have their own corporate website.

On-line sales in Spain are growing

21% of the SMEs and self-employed have a business which is exclusively online, i.e. without a physical store. This figure puts Spain on par with pioneers in the use of the Internet, such as the United Kingdom (36%) or the United States (21%).

El Economista reported that the main difficulties faced by SMEs and the self-employed in the management of the online stores, are data entry and updating content (16%), having the necessary skills to manage it well (11%), positioning on the Internet (8%) and management of shipments (6%).

Another conclusion is that there are still opportunities to be explored, especially in the field of e-commerce and social networking. Only 7% of SMEs and self-employed with Internet presence allow online payments, which limits, for example sales to abroad. In addition, only 2% so far are using tablets and smartphones to enhance their business benefits.

Facebook is the most used social network, with 37%. This is followed by Twitter (16%), LinkedIn (10%) and YouTube (9%). 71% check their profiles on these social networks, a percentage that has not changed over the previous year. 9% also have a corporate blog.

According to the study, SMEs and the self-employed are optimistic that the Internet offers great opportunities for them to increase the competitiveness of their business, and 71% believe that 2014 will be equal to or better than 2013. Only 20% believe it will be worse, which is much lower than the December 2012 figure, when 60% believed that this year would be worse.

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