Many Australian small and medium sized businesses have web sites that offer a range of facilities for the consumer: information provision, online ordering, and community participation. In a study carried out on Australian winery web sites, it was observed that the smaller the winery, the less likely it was that it had a web site. However, those small wineries that do have web sites seem to be more innovative and are more likely to offer a wider range of Internet facilities than other small business web sites. This is almost the opposite of the general trend where the smaller the business the less innovative it is likely to be. An e-mail interview conducted with owners of a sample of the wineries, indicated that the reason for this is the need for smaller wineries to attract a larger market, perhaps at a lower cost. This stage of the study indicated that there is also a lack of planning going into web site implementation and maintenance. Recommendations are made for governments and industry bodies to improve the level of understanding of the benefits of the Internet to small wineries in general, and to impress upon them the need for planning for their implementation and upkeep. These findings are important for the opportunities that they provide to the many small wineries that have not created a web site and may provide the catalyst for some of them to do so.
Information Technology and Management – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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