Small businesses urged to not get left behind – can you keep up?

April 26th, 2012

Small businesses urged to not get left behind - can you keep up?

If your small business isn't online, you are missing out.

This message has been a popular one over the last few days. The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index noted £5.8 billion was spent online in the UK last month, while mcommerce soared by 254 per cent between March 2011 and last month.

Internet psychologist Graham Jones also explained that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without a mobile-optimised website will fall behind their rivals, as today's shoppers expect to buy items at a time and place convenient for them.

Now, a new campaign has been launched to encourage small companies to take advantage of the benefits the internet has to offer. Go On UK has been kick-started by founder of lastminute.com and the country's digital champion Martha Lane Fox.

"Many individuals and organisations still struggle to exploit the broader benefits of technology, a problem that is particularly acute for our small businesses, older people and charities that are currently at risk of being left behind," she stated.

Just 14 per cent of SMEs sell services and products online, a recent Lloyds Banking Group and BDRC study found. There is clearly plenty of scope for this figure to be significantly boosted – but what can small businesses do?

The below are the main things you need to do as a priority:
• Have a website that details products and services, contact details and what your organisation is all about. Not only that, but the site must be an ecommerce platform, enabling people to purchase over it.
• Have a content marketing strategy that includes blogs, social media pages, website articles and, if relevant, landing pages.
• Have an mcommerce site. People expect to be able to browse and buy over their mobile phones, such as when on the commute home.

"Failing to act now would result in charities and small businesses operating at a significant disadvantage as the rest of the UK becomes increasingly digital," Ms Lane Fox concluded.

Of course, all this can be daunting for an SME, which is where companies such as ContentPlus can prove to be of assistance, overseeing all aspects of a multichannel marketing strategy.

Do you need help with your small business online operations? If so, leave your questions for us below.

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