SMEs must however improve mobile optimisation to remain competitive and capitalise on growing online opportunities.
According to research by Forex Bonuses, the UK is the third most cashless society in the world, behind Canada and Sweden.
The rankings were based on six metrics including the number of credit and debit cards per person, the percentage of payments made with cashless systems such as phones and contactless cards, and the number of debit cards held with contactless functionality.
In the UK, 41 per cent of cards have contactless functionality and, in 2016, 10.3 billion debit, credit and charge card transactions took place and 54 per cent of all retail payments were paid for on a card.*
Meanwhile, PayPal has revealed that only a fifth of UK SMEs have websites set up for mobile devices, meaning they are missing out on the huge growth in online spending.
With shoppers predicted to double the amount they spend on purchases made on mobile devices to £27 billion this year (£43 billion by 2020), SMEs must capitalise on this mobile shopping boom by providing mobile-friendly websites for on-the-move spending.
“Small businesses are juggling so many things that often the website isn’t on the list of top priorities – it is daunting and some companies think they need an overhaul. But, actually, with some small changes that are simple to implement, small businesses can really change the experience for consumers and increase conversion rates,” says Nicola Longfield, Director of Small Business at PayPal UK.
By implementing an online payment system, shoppers will enjoy a more seamless buying experience which is simpler, enhances brand recognition and feels more secure, Ms Longfield adds. This in turn will encourage shoppers to spend more.
“People are now willing to go through with quite sizeable transactions on their mobile, so for small businesses, if they don’t have that secure and easy way for consumers to buy on their mobile, the chances are they will lose that sale.”
In this challenging environment it is important that retail business owners remain competitive by keeping up with the changing times and listening to and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers.
Our specialist business advisers at Beavis Morgan work closely with retail businesses, helping them access new markets and expand their service offerings. We are also available to assist with strategic planning, system implementation, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.
* British Retail Consortium Figures: July 2017