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Ignoring the move to mobile is costing UK SMEs £77bn a year study find

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With only 10% of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) having a mobile optimized website, businesses could be missing out on £77 billion in annual revenue a study has found. And only 13% of those without a mobile optimized site plan to have one by the end of 2014.

The survey, conducted by Impact Research for hibu, asked 900 UK SME owners and IT leaders about their companies’ websites, revenues and future plans for the mobile web. It 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,” says Richard Hanscott, Chief Executive Officer 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.”

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 tenfold increase over 2013. Their 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%.

“Many business owners have invested in a website over the last decade, but this data tells us a website really isn’t enough anymore,” explains Matt Anderson, Chief Digital Officer for 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.”
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