Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK could be missing out on £77 billion in annual revenue by not having mobile-optimised websites, new research has claimed.
A survey, conducted by Impact Research for digital marketing firm hibu, asked 900 UK SME owners and IT leaders about their companies’ websites, revenues and future plans for the mobile Web.
The research showed that 45% of UK SMEs do not have a website, yet believe their annual revenue could rise by 5.4% if they had a website that was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £11,155 extra turnover annually. A further 45% of UK SMEs have a website that is not optimised for mobile. These businesses believe their annual revenues could rise by 3.5% if their website was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £23,793 extra turnover annually.
“We already know that mobile is rapidly growing as a way for people to search and buy, but we wanted to get a true picture of whether SMEs in the UK are in a position to take advantage of that trend,” said Richard Hanscott, CEO of hibu in the UK. “The statistics are pretty alarming: only one in ten has a website that is optimised for mobile visitors and a mere four per cent are set up for mobile transactions.
"With this research study, we’ve shown that the opportunity for SMEs and mobile is huge and we hope it will spur many into action. A simple change to their digital presence could unlock significant new revenue.”
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The research also found that SMEs recognise the importance of mobile optimisation, and know its value is growing. Respondents predicted that mobile online transactions will have the greatest percentage annual growth across all sales channels in 2014, exceeding £29 billion – a 1050% (tenfold) increase over 2013.
The predictions are supported by statistics showing the sweeping move toward the mobile web. In the UK, access to the Internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24% to 53%.
Whilst SME decision-makers recognise that mobile is growing, few are taking immediate action. Only 10% of those surveyed currently have mobile-optimised websites, and of those that do not, only 13% plan to get one in the next 12-to-18 months.
“Many business owners have invested in a website over the last decade, but this data tells us a website really isn’t enough anymore,” said Matt Anderson, chief digital officer at hibu. “Local businesses need a site that renders well on phones and tablets, or they are missing out on dramatic growth because ‘on-the-go’ people around them can’t see their website well.
"A lot of people feel intimidated and don’t know where to turn to get a mobile-optimised website. So it’s no wonder that there’s a disconnect between the trends SME owners are witnessing and the steps they’re actually taking to embrace mobile. hibu is here to help, with beautifully designed business websites that are mobile-friendly from day one.”