Almost 90 percent of Israel's exporters either currently operate, or are in the process of creating, an Internet site for their companies, reported a survey conducted by the Israel Export Institute and Google-Israel.
"This represents a huge change from five years ago, when only 5% of the country's exporters operated Web sites," said David Artzi, chairman of the export institute, regarding the study, which was undertaken ahead of today's (Monday's) "Export-Net" conference in Tel Aviv.
"The Internet has the power to eliminate geographical boundaries and today, no matter where you are, you can join the international Internet network," added Artzi.
According to the research survey, Israel's exporters, lead by those in the hi-tech sector, have recognized the effectiveness Web sites can have as 31% of the country's exporters have already had their own sites for five years; 13% have had sites for the last three to four years; 13% for the last two to three years; and 12.6% have began operating their own Web sites within the past one to two years.
Additionally, the research revealed that almost half (43%) of Israeli exporters have built their Web sites with their US customers in mind, while 30.5% market their sites to UK customers. While English and Hebrew are the overwhelmingly dominant languages on the Web sites of the country's exporters, 12.9% also contain Spanish, 7.9% Russian and 6.2% French. Only 0.5% have Arabic text on them.
More than 50% of exporters said they use the Internet as a primary tool to market their products, enabling them to most easily update customers about new company developments, something that 8.1% of the companies do on a weekly basis, 6.3% on semi-weekly basis, 14.3% on a monthly basis, and 7.6% on a yearly basis.
"Even if your company is one the other side of the world, the Internet turns everybody into next-door neighbors," Artzi told The Jerusalem Post.
Set to give presentations at Monday's conference are David Thacker of Google Europe and Kay Luo, communications director for the Web site LinkedIn.