Almost half of all businesses that would like an online presence don't have one, often because staff fear they lack the technical expertise required to set up an e-commerce website.
Research released today by Amenworld.com suggests that 49 percent of companies that want an online shop believe that they face insurmountable barriers in setting one up. But this decision bars such businesses from tapping into the global e-commerce market - a market worth around £30bn.
Such businesses see the biggest obstacle as a lack of the technical knowledge required to set up an online shop. Companies also worry about finding the right e-commerce product, don't feel that they have the time to maintain an online store and are concerned about the costs incurred.
Only 11 percent of businesses surveyed saw no obstacles in the way of setting up an online shop.
Amenworld, which specialises in launching businesses on the web, approached 384 companies. The companies were asked if they had or needed an online shop, and what barriers face small businesses when setting up shop online
Responding to the survey results, Amenworld's Andrew Fassnidge said: "The value of internet sales is set to double in the next five years, but too many businesses are put off selling online by the perceived complexity and expense of online shops."
Fassnidge said that recent, more intuitive hosted e-commerce products such as Amenworld's Amen e-Shops make setting up online a cinch. He believes that 'technical expertise' should no longer be an issue.
"Moreover, setting up an e-Shop instantly opens companies up to an international market, so overseas trading becomes a reality for small businesses," Fassnidge added.