New research from Inter-national Data Corp (IDC) shows enormous potential for Web developers to tap into the small business market.
The survey shows small business is increasingly aware e-commerce is integral to their continued prosperity and survival.
More than 63 per cent of businesses with less than 100 employees have a Web site, and their IT managers expect to dedicate a substantial 7.4 per cent of their budget to Web-based initiatives in 2000.
But IDC research shows that many of the sites are little more than electronic brochures, and 2000 is likely to see many taking the next step into the world of e-commerce.
`While home page penetration in itself is a good indicator of the degree to which small firms are embracing the Internet, the important thing is what these companies are doing with their Web sites,' said IDC analyst Gianco Melcarne.
The vast majority (83 per cent) use the site simply to showcase their products and services, 63 per cent of all sites are equipped to provide customer service, and a substantial minority of 36 per cent actually conduct sales transactions, Melcarne reported.