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Offline! One in three UK SMEs don't have a website

by LLB Editor
15th Nov 12 10:21 am

One in three UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) don’t have a website, Lloyds Banking Group’s new SME Digitisation Report has revealed.

The report showed that 37% of UK SMEs still do not have a website and one in 5 (20%) are “deliberately disconnected” from the internet. The research also shows that just over a quarter (28%) of SMEs have an advanced website, including mobile applications, to help serve their customers and employees while a third (30%) are not developing their use of the internet in any way.

The report, published as part of Lloyds Banking Group’s partnership with Go ON UK – an initiative which aims to make the UK the most digitally capable nation also found that London has the highest number of respondents (43%) who use the internet actively.

The report emphasised that the lack of digital maturity is strongly related to turnover and size. Businesses with a turnover of up to £5 million cite a 91% internet usage rate, compared to 64% amongst firms with turnover of between £126,000-£250,000.

Ian Patterson, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Central London, said: “There is no avoiding the fact that the Internet is part of everyday life and is an essential ingredient of business growth. This research shows that many SMEs are still not embracing digital technology often because they don’t believe there are benefits to be had. But it is clear that when businesses do go digital, the rewards come quickly.”

Martha Lane Fox, chair of Go ON UK said: “The internet contributes more to UK GDP than to that of any other G20 country. It is critical that our SMEs embrace the Internet, develop their online skills and general digital capability in order to ensure their future in a competitive market both here and abroad.”

Benefits of improving ‘digital maturity’ according to Lloyds Banking Group’s new SME Digitisation Report:

78% save time due to automation and electronic communication

62% attract customers through effective marketing

54% note improved levels of customer interaction and service and wider geographic coverage

54% see costs savings

51% report greater sales

36% enjoy simplified payment processing

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