New year, new website? What businesses want in 2018

A recent poll has asked SMEs what they want to achieve in 2018, with most business owners planning to prioritise new websites, apps, and digital opportunities.

Capital Economics, which published the report in association with Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation, found that 88 per cent of SMEs plan to be online by the end of the year.

Around seven in 10 businesses plan to achieve this by setting up an e-commerce website, while a quarter (24 per cent) expect to launch a mobile app.

A further 27 per cent said they would use third party retailers to sell their products or services.

Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, suggested that businesses who go digital are likely to grow up to three times faster than those that are not.

“The contrast in performance between businesses who use e-commerce and those that don’t is significant, so it’s reassuring for the UK economy to see small businesses investing in digital,” he said.

“The impact digital tools and services have on a small business cannot be underestimated. They can improve productivity, boost revenue growth and provide real export power for SMEs.”

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, added: “With the uncertainty of Brexit and the turbulence of the global economy, small business owners understand the need to adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the curve, and digital adoption is a key enabler of this.”

In December, Capital Economics suggested that businesses which use e-commerce would see a 0.4 per cent sales increase over the festive period, compared to a 0.4 per cent decline for those without a digital presence.