SME Internet Usage Growing in India: Google Survey

According to the survey conducted by Google India, about 57% of Indian SMEs have been using Internet for sales and for generating business leads. It was found that the absolute number of SMEs with an online presence is very low, when compared to the actual number of businesses in India. However, it was observed that there was an increased understanding amongst Indian SMEs regarding the use of the web for growth of the business. It was even found that there has been a growth in the number of businesses that started online advertising.

Out of 785 SMEs surveyed by the organization, 71% were found to use the Internet to search for vendors and suppliers and 40% for creating online listings and advertising online. The main purpose for the SMEs for using the Internet is accessing e-mail. However, 58% of the SMEs had been using websites to generate business leads.

Still, most of the SMEs have been spending for advertisements on traditional media like newspapers and outdoor hoardings. However, 79% of SMEs who have online presence believed that Internet advertising can provide great reach. About 56% of them had an opinion that Internet is a cost-effective medium than traditional advertising like newspapers, TV, hoardings and others. The survey of the organization further stated that insurance, IT hardware, travel and tourism industries had spent around 30-45% on online marketing. It even reported high online spends among SMEs in the media and entertainment, apparel, gems and jewelry.

According to the survey, most of the SMEs were interested to spend for online advertisements. However, display and email marketing were the most popular forms of Internet advertising among SMEs and around 30% of them were found to use search engine advertising to market their products and services.

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