According to database and marketing firm Email-Brokers, European businesses are way behind the US in getting online. After looking at 13 million sites the company found that while Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have the highest proportion of companies online, even in those countries 40% of business have no internet presence.
“It is one of the ways to create employment and economic growth and it is not Star Trek, it exists today,” Email-Brokers head William Vande Wiele said.
Britain and Liechtenstein were the most advanced in terms of e-commerce – defined as being able to process orders and payments, with 16% and 17%, respectively, compared with only 6% in Belgium and 9% in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.
Vande Wiele said many corporate websites were badly designed, and did not provide basics such as adequate contact information or company details.
Many websites are not kept up to date, the study also found, with more than 80 percent of business sites in Belgium, Greece, Italy and Spain not updated for more than a year.