Businesses that do not keep pace with the growing trend towards e-commerce will fail, as the internet takes an ever-greater share of global business, according to a new report published by PayPoint.net.
With nearly half of all small British businesses having no online strategy or presence, and nearly two-thirds losing out in the battle for web visibility, small business Britain is at risk of falling behind its international competitors, the firm said.
PayPoint.net and YouGov have surveyed over 800 UK small businesses about the critical business issues they face today. The survey found that 35% of small businesses across all sectors see majority of their revenues coming from online income over the next five years, while 58% of respondents expect greatest growth in their turnover to be through online sales.
About 36% of businesses have been able to grow through access to global markets as a result of trading online while 59% of businesses expect to gain access to more customers by moving online.
According to the report, open innovation with risk sharing partners will be the norm for start-ups and small businesses, while co-creation with core consumers will drive entrepreneurial thinking to offer products consumers required. In addition, greater fraud protection and increased security will dramatically increase the use of cloud computing.
About 57% of those companies surveyed felt that generating traffic and getting customers to their site was their greatest challenge. Not having enough contact with customers to build a strong commercial relationship was cited as a barrier to business growth by 31% of respondents. 33% of respondents cited threat of fraud as being especially challenging, while 22% cited the complication of keeping pace with regulatory change as being challenging, PayPoint reported.
In addition, over a quarter of the businesses covered see e-commerce as the future for their business and 44% of the respondents have acknowledged the importance of online revenues but are still only at the early stages of developing an on and offline presence to maximise revenue opportunities.