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NEWS: Ignoring move to mobile could cost UK SMEs £77 billion

Only 10 per cent of UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have a responsive website, which could mean they are missing out on £77 billion in annual revenue, according to new research by hibu.

While a whopping 45 per cent of SMBs in the UK do not have a website, a further 45 per cent of SMBs' desktop sites are not optimised for mobile. These businesses believe their annual revenues could rise by 3.5 per cent if their website were optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £23,793 extra turnover annually.

The 900 UK SME owners and IT leaders surveyed recognised the importance of mobile optimisation, and understand its value is growing. Respondents predicted that mobile online transactions will have the greatest percentage annual growth across all sales channels in 2014, exceeding £29 billion - a 1050 per cent increase over 2013. This is supported by broader findings: In the UK, access to the internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24 per cent to 53 per cent.

While SME decision-makers recognise that mobile is growing, few are taking immediate action. Only 10 per cent of those surveyed currently have mobile-optimised websites, and of those that do not, only 13 per cent plan to get one in the next 12-18 months.

Richard Hanscott, CEO of hibu in the UK, commented on the findings: “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.

“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. With this research study, we’ve shown that the opportunity for SMEs and mobile is huge and we hope it will spur many into action. A simple change to their digital presence could unlock significant new revenue.”