The importance of having a mobile-optimised website

A lack of mobile-optimised websites could mean UK SMEs are missing out on £77 billion in annual revenue, according to a recent survey.


The survey, carried out by Impact Research on behalf of hibu – formerly the Yell Group – questioned 900 SME owners in the UK on everything internet-related, including their websites, revenues and future plans.


The results showed that 45% of the SMEs questioned did not have a website, yet believed that having a mobile friendly website would see a 5.4% rise in revenue.


That could equate to £11,155 in extra turnover annually, a major factor when finance for small businesses can be a key driving force for success.


In addition, a further 45% of companies had a website that was not optimised for mobile use, and these businesses believed that revenues could rise by 3.5% yearly if this was the case.


The survey suggested that this would account for an average of £23,793 in extra turnover every year, a significant sum if the companies involved are walking a narrow financial tightrope.


‘Unlocking significant new revenue’


“We already know that mobile is rapidly growing as a way for people to search and buy, but we wanted to get a true picture of whether SMEs in the UK are in a position to take advantage of that trend,” explained Richard Hanscott, chief executive of hibu in the UK.


“The statistics are pretty alarming: only one in ten has a website that is optimised for mobile visitors and a mere four per cent are set up for mobile transactions.


“A simple change to their digital presence could unlock significant new revenue.”


Additional finance from these sources could provide much needed support, while business rescue is an alternative option if required.


According to the research, many SMEs recognise the importance of mobile optimization, which is the first step to unlocking its potential.


Respondents said they believe mobile transactions will generate the greatest annual percentage growth in 2014, exceeding £29bn.


Internet usage on mobile phones has more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, rising from 24% to 53%, but yet immediate action is not forthcoming.


Only 10% of the companies questioned already had mobile-optimised websites, while 13% more expected to implement one during the next 18 months.


By Phil Smith


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