As a result of slow or unreliable access, only 20% are selling their products online, while just 4% plan to invest in a digital channel going forward.
“We speak to hundreds of customers worrying about building a website or selling online,” said Paul Galligan, CEO of Bionic. “For many SMEs, the challenge of getting their business digital-ready seems too great.
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“We know that sometimes the smallest tweaks can bring the biggest rewards, whether it’s getting a card reader or setting up a Facebook page.
“SMEs can empower themselves through tech tools to ease their day to day decisions, reach new customers and get the best out of their business.”
22% of UK-based SMEs are able to provide a mobile card reader, meaning that many are against the tide of increasing purchases using contactless.
A key factor found in Bionic’s study for a widespread ‘digital lag’ among SMEs is minimal engagement with telecoms; nearly two thirds (61%) said that they hadn’t reviewed their business telecoms contracts within the last year, while 38% hadn’t reviewed them in the last three years.
“Up and down the country, the majority of SMEs are yet to harness the power of technology to turbocharge their business,” continued Galligan. “We live in an Internet age, but the backbone of the UK economy is still being supported by copper connections and cash, rather than fibre and contactless.
“The upside is that UK SMEs have a huge amount of open road to run into and can access a digital dividend by making small changes and the support of key partners.”
2,010 UK SMEs took part in Bionic’s study, which was conducted alongside YouGov.