In this day and age, a huge number of people turn to their smartphones or laptops to find information about companies, which is why having an online presence is essential for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Most Brits no longer look up businesses in their Yellow Pages or visit their premises. They turn to the world wide web if they want to get their contact details, find out prices, see reviews or discover what products or services they offer.
Therefore, Lloyds Bank’s Business and Charity Index’s recent findings, published in Fintech Finance, that UK companies are losing out on as much as £85 billion a year because of their poor digital capability is not surprising, as there is so much to be gained by being accessible on the internet.
While 99 per cent of British businesses and charities are already online, this figure declines when it comes to sole traders. According to the index, 41 per cent have low digital capability, despite demand for their services still being high among consumers.
The findings revealed 57 per cent of charities that have started using social media to promote their worthwhile campaigns have seen a growth in turnover by 12 per cent from last year. This is a statistic that could encourage more SMEs and sole traders to consider using website marketing services in London to boost their online presence and raise awareness of their business to more people.
Nick Williams, managing director of Commercial and Business Banking Transformation for Lloyds Banking Group, stated that being online does not only increase visibility for SMEs, but it serves another purpose as well.
“Businesses and charities are seeing that moving online is not only helping increase revenue, but it is also improving productivity levels,” Mr Williams noted.
Over 2.5 million companies in the UK claim they have saved time by going digital, which is more than twice the number in 2014. Indeed, SMEs and charities have said they have been able to save a day a week, as they are more productive and efficient with digital advancements.
Technological skills are growing at a particularly fast rate in the charity sector, the index found, with more than half of social enterprises in Britain having all the basic digital skills.
Figures showed that 24 per cent are more likely to build a website; 31 per cent have greater social media engagement; and 31 per cent typically use social media to promote their work compared with last year.
Of course, having a good-quality, well-maintained and easy-to-use website is even more essential for retailers, as they can use this as another platform to sell their products to the public.
It would, therefore, be prudent for these businesses to get online as soon as possible, as next week will host the biggest shopping event of the year – Black Friday.
On November 23rd, millions of Brits are set to embark on a shopping spree, with a significant number of these sales taking place online. Last year, as much as £1.39 billion was spent on the internet on Black Friday deals, according to figures released by IMRG.