Yell has released new research into how businesses in the trades sector are approaching their online presence in light of the pandemic, showing that consumers spend 54% less per month on average on websites that have not been updated regularly versus those that have

The research identified an effective online presence as a key driver for sales and enquiries for tradespeople. 79% of businesses stated that their branding and customer reviews were the most important aspect for generating leads and sales, closely followed by their website (78%). 34% of tradespeople stated that they thought their website was unimportant before the pandemic, but now think that it is important and over one in three (37%) think that their business would not survive without a website. 

Consumers are increasingly seeking out businesses online too. On average, 80% of consumers are either likely or very likely to seek out a trades business online before making a purchase or booking a job.  

Out of the websites analysed, on average, trades websites were last updated an estimated 20 months ago, revealing that many businesses are neglecting to update them regularly. 

Yell’s research shows that this could have a direct impact on revenue from online sales, with the study finding that consumers spend 54% less per month on average on websites that have not been updated regularly versus those that have. Moreover, when consumers were asked what element of a business’s website would most likely increase their chances of making a purchase or booking a service with that business, 42% stated that it was a website having up to date information. 

The most common reasons among businesses for not updating or amending their website are, a lack of expertise (47% of respondents), followed by a fear of something going wrong and a lack of money (both 39%). Interestingly, 63% of respondents agreed that it was costly to update their website. 

Claire Miles, Chief Executive at Yell, commented: “It’s been an incredibly tough time for tradespeople across the country. The pandemic has forced them to adapt quickly and has led to a widespread adoption of digital services at speed. Whilst these digital services have been crucial for businesses to survive the past 16 months, our insights show that this trend towards digital is set to continue long past the pandemic. Therefore, it is crucial for SMEs to be getting their digital strategy right and an effective website will always be at the heart of that."