Despite the pandemic accelerating the shift to online shopping, only 12% of the UK’s smaller sized businesses decided to launch a virtual shop window as a direct result.
The Lloyds Bank Business survey shows that nearly half of SMEs are still to make the move to digital; this is despite evidence that it could open up opportunities for new markets and growth.
According to the findings, as many as 65% of businesses cited lack of skills and confidence as their biggest barriers to going digital.
Of those who did go online as a result of the pandemic:
- 82% say it has helped their business grow with 55% increasing their geographic reach.
- 47% say it helped to appeal to a new customer demographic.
- 32% have used their online platform to diversify their services.
Gareth Oakley, Managing Director of Business Banking at Lloyds Bank, said, “If you’re the owner of a coffee shop or a hairdresser’s, having a digital presence might not be as important for your business, but other retail or service businesses could really expand their reach by moving online.
“That can be a daunting prospect for those yet to make the move or those who might not feel they have the necessary skills or experience. But by making the most of the tools and services available at Lloyds Bank, business owners can ensure their business thrives online in a way that’s both safe and productive.”
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