Ignoring Mobile Internet Could Cost SMEs £77bn

New Research Has Shown The Benefits For Small Businesses Planning To Release Apps For Tablet And Smartphone Users

13.02.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

A new study released to the market has revealed the importance of mobile internet for SMEs.

Hibu, a provider of digital marketing solutions, has shown that ignoring the rise of tablets and smartphones could cost the UK economy as much as £77 billion per year.

Research from the company shows that 35 per cent of small businesses in the UK do not have a website, even though they believe their revenues could rise by 5.4 per cent if they had this infrastructure in place by hiring a web designer.

A further 45 per cent of SMEs that actually do have an online presence do not have this optimised for mobile usage - even if this could generate a total of £23,793 per year in terms of extra turnover.

Richard Hanscott, chief executive of Hibu, said: "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."

"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."

These views are shared by Matt Anderson, chief digital officer for Hibu, who stated that with more people looking at websites "on-the-go" than ever before, it is up for small firms in the UK to respond by tailoring their online presence.

However, this doesn't solely mean releasing apps onto the market and could involve simply optimising an existing website so that it is usable on a tablet or phone.

Despite the clear need to invest in mobile technology, only 13 per cent of businesses surveyed by Hibu claimed that they will improve their website for this purpose in the next 12 to 18 months - something that could give larger companies an edge in the increasingly profitable world of ecommerce.

Expert Opinion
It is not uncommon for small businesses and entrepreneurs to view advertising and promotions as something which is solely for larger organisations, particularly due to limitations they may face in terms of the resource needed to undertake such activity.

"However, research of this nature demonstrates that there are huge benefits which ambitious small firms could reap from considering even the most basic promotional projects, such as getting an established online presence or even considering an app.

"In addition, with the large majority of people using the internet to seek out and purchase products and services, getting a website in place has become an essential part of business.

"We would urge small businesses to think about the potential avenues which will be opened up by thinking about digital promotion and encourage them to speak to legal experts for advise on related issues including data protection, intellectual property and branding as well as the important issues to consider when entering into contracts with third parties."
Steven Beahan, Partner