Why SMEs in the UK must go digital

April 9, 2018

Small and medium enterprises in the UK must go digital or risk being left behind. The benefits of going digital are vast; in the UK alone, 5.7 million SMEs currently using online platforms to access a wider customer pool. Here, we explore why UK SMEs must look into the benefits of transitioning to a digital business.

Wider trading potential

Going digital is significant because it offers you a wider trading potential for your business. Whether you install card terminals in your store to enable you to accept contactless or start trading online, the key is to look for new income channels. If you’re losing custom because you only take cash, then going digital can reverse this. With over 2.5 million UK SMEs trading through Facebook, there are clear benefits to using this technology to widen your trading potential.

Better integration

Young shoppers in the UK have changed the way that they shop, with over one-third of all payment transactions now happening through contactless, however many businesses are still failing to accept this form of payment. When you are competing with a chain such as Zara that can accept orders on an app and can have the order ready when the customer arrives, your business will always be second choice for that customer. Customers expect a seamless and effortless shopping experience, from purchasing their goods to potentially returning the items. Engaging with new digital technologies, not only enables you to serve your customers with speed but they can provide you with powerful insights through your customer’s card transaction data, to build up a profile of each of your customers, so your business can carry out targeted marketing campaigns.

Not online, not found

Another key factor that has changed the SME marketplace is that people are now searching for what they want online before they go anywhere else. Instead of heading to a high street, customers are instead searching for the product/service on their phone, comparing prices, reviews, offers, loyalty schemes, and stock levels. If you are not set up with a digital presence, such as an e-commerce platform, you could be losing custom to a competitor.
There is no question today that SMEs need to go digital and embrace more effective channels to engage with customers. From an online presence to card processing, the future of UK SMEs is digital.