Firms plan on spending £53bn to improve their digital marketplace » SMEInsider

Firms plan on spending £53bn to improve their digital marketplace

Small businesses throughout Britain plan to invest heavily in improving their websites, collectively spending £53bn over the next two years, a new survey reveals.

New research undertaken by Santander Corporate & Commercial reveals that on average, UK SMEs committed £33,212 towards improving their digital services in the past year.

8 per cent of the companies surveyed said that they spent more than £100,000 on digital capabilities in the last year, while 6% plan to increase their investment by over £100,000 in the future.

‘‘Investment in digital capabilities can significantly enhance business growth opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses. Just having a functional website can have a dramatic impact on a firm’s visibility and connectivity with customers and other stakeholders,’’ said Stephen Dury, Managing Director of SME markets & business development at Santander Corporate & Commercial.

Of course, small IT and financial service companies are the driving force behind the investments. On average, IT companies have invested £46,429 in the last year, while financial services companies have each invested £49,500.

The majority of these high spending investors are most likely based in London, as firms in the capital are predicted to invest £42,925 in the next two years.

Santander study

Surprisingly, Santander has found that SMEs are more focused on putting money towards their websites, rather than creating or improving upon their mobile application.

Just over half (54%) of firms investing in digital capabilities are looking to develop their websites compared to just 16% who are launching digital apps. This is a surprise given that last month, SME Insider reported that Google are optimising their search engine in favour of companies who optimise their websites for mobile use.

‘‘While it is great to see that many firms are focused on this, the concern is that a significant number are still failing to invest effectively and are therefore missing out on these opportunities,’’ continued Dury.

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