An overwhelming 99 percent of small companies surveyed say that free shipping is an important factor in deciding on an online supplier, according to a recent poll commissioned by Staples. Almost half (46 percent) say that they could not operate if they had to pay shipping costs for their purchases. In other survey results, 86 percent of companies say they like online ordering because it saves time. However, only a quarter said they even possess a mobile device such as a smartphone, that can be used to place orders away from the office.
The survey did not say how many of those device owners actually use them to contact wholesalers and place orders online. However, small businesses that shop online frequently (three or more times per month) are more than twice as likely to say that mobile capabilities are important, compared to those that place one to two orders online per month. The survey covered a national random sample of 300 small businesses with 20 or fewer employees.
Another recent survey of small business owners, mostly asking about insurance, revealed that only two percent of the over 600 respondents don't buy anything online. That poll was conducted by Working Solo Inc., on behalf of TechInsurance Group. With the great majority of business people turning to the Internet for at least a portion of their purchasing needs, suppliers can attract their dollars by offering efficient purchases and free shipping.
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