SMEs cant afford to ignore Mobile Revenue opportunities

It would appear that UK businesses, have not yet connected the dots whereby having an optimized web presence, that works with mobile devices can affect profits and revenues. New research results demonstrate that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK could be missing out on £77 billion in annual revenue by not having mobile-optimized websites. At the moment, £480 billion is the current value of UK online sales to SMEs. This excludes transactions via mobile. Only £2.5 billion can be attributed to the value of UK online mobile cities to SMEs.

If small businesses are going to ignore the need to be mobile, they are leaving the door wide open for the large enterprise to scoop up neglected mobile customers. The results from the survey by Impact Research and commissioned by hibu clearly show that SMEs are failing to take advantage of the developing digital opportunities and that while they may be aware of the potential money they could be missing out on, many may not be actively planning to do anything about it. The cost to go responsive is not prohibitive, so what is the problem?

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 optimized 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 optimized for mobile. These businesses believe their annual revenues could rise by 3.5% if their website was optimized for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £23,793 extra turnover annually.

What is not clear from the research, is that while the recognition is there, it is puzzling that there appears to be a lack of pro-activity in resolving the issue, especially when the bottom line means greater revenues. Could it be that those focused on IT in SMEs are worrying about issues like BYOD and not thinking about basic bread and butter revenue opportunities?

Whilst SME decision-makers recognize that mobile is growing, few are taking immediate action. Only 10% of those surveyed currently have mobile-optimized websites, and of those that do not, only 13% plan to get one in the next 12-18 months. Matt Anderson, Chief Digital Officer for hibu thinks decision makers maybe intimidated by the decision    making process:  “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“.

I am not so sure about that, given the fact that it’s easy for decision-makers to find the information that they need. It may very well be that the huge size of revenues left on the table, are not discussed actively in boardrooms and hence IT departments in the SME world, are not being tasked to do the very thing that would ensure their long-term survival. A wake up call is long overdue.

Image credit via hibu