Independent businesses are at risk of losing customers due to incorrect online information, which is costing £6.1b a year in lost revenue according to the UK Domain.
The research by the UK Domain found that 67% of consumers look online for information before going to a shop or restaurant, however 61% of independent businesses, have inaccurate or missing opening hours listed.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of shoppers said they would never return to an independent business if they arrived to find that the business was shut and 71% of people said they would be more likely to turn to established chains once the independent business had lost their trust.
The UK Domain is urging businesses to check and take charge of their online information. The report found that the six most important things UK consumers want to be able to find at the click of a button are: opening hours (87%); product information (86%); opening days (85%); address (81%); contact information (78%); and business background (36%).
"We'd strongly encourage businesses to review the information that exists about them on the web and to correct any errors. Creating a simple website outlining what you sell, when you're open and where you're based is an easy step to save yourself and your customers time and to improve opportunities for your business."
To gather the data for this study, the UK Domain collected online listings for more than 250 independent British businesses and then compared these to their actual opening times by calling or visiting the businesses in person between May and June 2017. Nominet also surveyed 2,000 British consumers between 31 May and 2 June 2017. Data analysis and econometric modelling was carried out independently by the Cebr.
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