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Are companies ready to make the digital leap?

December 24, 2020 Digital Marketing, e-commerce
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These days, most SMEs and VSEs believe that digital technology offers significant advantages for their company.

The more employees a business has, the more owners will view their digital transformation as an everyday essential for communications, internal organization, prospecting, customer relations and other critical tasks.

And yet, some SMEs and VSEs have delayed making their digital leap. Many feel restricted by heavy economic pressures and a lack of resources. These barriers are preventing business owners from implementing a strong digital strategy.

Common Obstacles

Cost represents the most cited barrier for VSE and SME owners. Many companies overestimate the budget required to make their digital shift.

A lack of time and skills are two other commonly perceived obstacles. Business leaders think that going digital will be time-consuming and fear they’ll run into technical challenges.

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71% of surveyed employees believe that company leaders cannot do without digital tools.

The Digital Shift: Major Opportunities for Businesses

Despite the cited challenges, business owners say that new digital tools are having a positive effect on:

  • Their communication and advertising methods
  • Their ability to organize their company and monitor their business activity
  • Their ability to manage sales and accounting data
  • Their ability to pay employees and suppliers

These numbers double for companies with 20 to 49 employees.

The main goals for small businesses are:

  • To increase their sales turnover and profitability
  • To attract new clients
  • To strengthen client loyalty

Upon going digital, more than 70% of all SMEs report revenue growth. Many business owners attribute a large portion of this growth to their use of digital tools. SMEs with a stronger online presence are more likely to experiencing increased sales than their peers who have yet to make their digital leap. Digital savvy companies are:

  • 3x more likely to experience revenue growth
  • 2x as profitable

SMEs already play a key role in the U.S. economy, employing almost half of the total workforce. By addressing the internal and external barriers faced by SMEs today, businesses may gain easier access to more digital tools. This will give them new opportunities to increase their size, productivity, profitability, and ultimately, their contribution to the U.S. economy.

85% of all SMEs report that digital tools have helped them improve their profits over the past year

Consumers are Ready Now

There is a significant gap between customer readiness and where SMEs and VSEs are at with their digital journey:

  • 7 out of 10 consumers buy and pay online while only 1 out of 8 SMEs take advantage of online solutions.
  • Before the second wave, 38% of French people were already using in-store Click & Collect options.

Companies are at risk of missing out on a high-potential market, leaving full reign for consumerism’s e-commerce giants.

SMEs who leverage advanced digital tools are more likely to experience customer growth than their peers who are further behind in their digital marketing strategy. Digitally advanced companies are:

  • 5x more likely to reach new international customers
  • 3x more likely to experience customer growth, which tends to be twice as high, compared to other companies who haven’t yet gone digital

Let’s Get Digital

Your digital transformation can occur in stages based on your activity and needs.

If you’re ready to simplify how you run your business, there are a number of digital solutions available for SMEs and VSEs, independent contractors and local store owners: online booking solutions, click and collect, marketing automation, SEO and more.

You can set up any one of these tools one by one at a reasonable cost. For a serene and seamless digital transition, Linkeo’s teams are here for you with your own dedicated technical expert and weekday customer support as needed.

To learn more about Linkeo’s solutions, click here.

Sources: DELOITTE report for the Connected Commerce Council
CPME.fr / Sage.com / Francenum.gouv.fr / Corporate.apec.fr / General Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses