Despite the fact that mobile technology, including the increasingly pervasive presence of smartphones and tablets among the public at large, continues to become more popular around the globe, many small and medium business (SMB) owners are disregarding the trend, a new report has found.
According to research commissioned by hibu – a website development company – and conducted by Impact Research, SMBs may be missing out on around $1 trillion a year by neglecting to make their payment processing systems compatible with mobile technology. Without these advancements, consumers often encounter trouble with websites while attempting to shop, making it more likely that individuals will leave a page before completing a purchase.
Study finds significant mobile issues among small businesses
The trillion dollar problem – equivalent to the annual GDP of the state of New York – is exacerbated by the fact that many businesses that are aware of these losses are still not acting aggressively to get up to speed with mobile. The study, in which Impact Research gathered responses from 900 entrepreneurs and IT leaders regarding their business’s websites and plans for mobile technology, found 56 percent of U.S. adults already use a smartphone. However, 91 percent of SMBs around the country are not prepared for the surge in mobile adoption. At the same time, these small businesses expect mobile sales to increase by 630 percent in 2014, propelling total mobile transaction revenue to reach $90 billion this year alone.
Meanwhile, online sales in general continue to grow. The value of U.S. online sales to small and medium businesses is currently estimated at $2.2 trillion. Furthermore, the current value of U.S. mobile revenues to these same businesses has now reached an estimated $12 billion. As this number is expected to increase so rapidly and significantly before year’s end, entrepreneurs who have declined to jump on the mobile bandwagon may expect to face trouble in keeping up with competitors.
SMB owners who were surveyed seem to be aware of this problem, although they may not be taking action to counter the issue. Whereas 32 percent of U.S. SMBs said business owners without mobile compatible websites will be “left behind,” just 15 percent of the same respondents said they plan on upgrading to newer technology over the next 12-18 months. This delay may result in rising problems for members of the business community as they struggle to drive in traffic to their sites in a consistently competitive world.
Although it was not made explicitly clear why these business owners may be putting off upgrades, one possible reason may be that tech advancements are often costly. However, even though these expenses can quickly add up, there are options for business owners looking to maintain a competitive edge. Instead of purchasing new equipment up front, SMB leaders can invest instead in equipment leasing options from lenders like National Funding, who can provide up to date business equipment that can help companies stay ahead of technological trends.