Lloyds Bank just released results of a new study titled “UK Business Digital Index“. Lloyd’s surveyed nearly 2,000 SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises and charities) customers and asked a number of key questions to assess the overall digital maturity of the SME marketplace. We’ll share a number of findings over the course of the next couple of weeks. Perhaps the most intriguing finding is that of the almost 500 respondents to the question “What types of digital advice and training would you wish to be able to access” some 25% answer “Don’t Know”. Scoring only 3 percentage points higher was “Website design”.
These two findings suggest: 1.) many SME sellers – be they media sellers, technology sellers, product sellers – are doing an inadequate job of directing and recommending how SMEs can leverage digital solutions; and many SMEs remain struggling with the basic foundation of their digital experience – the website. Our view is that seller inadequacy is a function of sellers who are ill-prepared to engage the SME in a robust discussion and offer a compelling recommendation. In terms of websites, we have seen a push toward automated websites which offer low entry costs and high penetration. Yet, having an automated website usually falls short of helping merchants distinguish themselves in a ever increasingly competitive market.
We’ll share more findings from the reports in coming days.