Only 9 per cent of local businesses have a website with e-commerce capability and, while another 9 per cent have a website, they are yet to enable e-commerce functionality.

This according to a survey of businesses across the country, conducted in early December by accounting software provider MYOB.

The survey showed that of the businesses with ecommerce sites 41 per cent expected to make up to 10 per cent of their sales online through the Christmas period, while 23 per cent were forecasting around quarter of their sales to be made online.

"What was particularly surprising about the survey is how few local businesses are still to take advantage of e-commerce opportunities," said Scott Gardiner, executive director of MYOB.

"Unfortunately, this means they're overlooking significant sales and marketing benefits, both to reach customers in an easy and cost effective way, and to ease the stress on themselves and their staff.

"Online sales is an area where we believe many local businesses are missing out -- particularly against international competitors."

The survey also found that only 9 per cent of local businesses have a special marketing campaign underway for Christmas, despite over 60 per cent saying they could benefit from Christmas sales.

Around 51 per cent of businesses stated "getting through the workload with my sanity intact!" as their key focus during the Christmas and New Year period, followed by sales of products and services at 7 per cent, customer acquisition strategies at 6 per cent and staffing levels at 6 per cent.

Despite the lack of online presence, the survey highlights most businesses will enjoy a solid Christmas.

"With 29% expecting and revenue increase and 58% forecasting the same as last Christmas, we're setting up for a happy New Year," said Gardiner.