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How SMEs can meet the cost of must-have mobile-friendly websites

Having a website that works on mobile devices is critical to maximising online visibility and sales, but small businesses are being slow to adapt. Cost is a critical factor. Alternative finance can help business owners access the capital that they need to invest in a new site.

According to a new study from PayPal, small businesses are losing significant sales because they aren’t evolving their online presence and adapting to the new retail landscape. The research shows that less than 20% of small businesses offer websites designed for mobile devices, a level unchanged from the previous year.

As a result, these firms are unable to benefit from a rapidly growing and hugely important market segment. PayPal’s data shows that over 40% of people are making purchases using their mobile devices at least once a week. This rate rises to almost two thirds for consumers aged between 25 and 34.

Furthermore, the average mobile-spend is continuing to grow, up to £100 in 2018, compared with £80 in 2017. And looking ahead, these numbers are only set to grow higher as online shopping grows ever more popular and consumers become more confident about shopping on their mobile devices.

So, there is clear value in businesses having mobile-friendly websites that meet the needs and expectations of increasingly digitally savvy consumers. But such expansion, whether it’s in the form of a new website or the upgrading of an existing mobile-friendly site, comes with a price tag.

And at the moment, with margins already under severe pressure thanks to a raft of policy and non-policy costs and difficult market conditions, finding the money to invest in such growth isn’t easy. A new survey of businesses owners and sole traders from Atom Content Marketing found that just 16% are certain that Brexit will make Britain a better place to do business.

How can small businesses afford to make sure that they remain competitive? Alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, the likes of invoice finance, peer-to-peer lending, asset finance and crowdfunding are offering small business owners an alternative means of accessing capital for essential investment, such as up-to-date mobile-friendly websites and the new payment and cybersecurity functionality that such a step often demands.

This is how a Sussex small business used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the money to buy new equipment.

As expected, 2019 is proving tough for small businesses, but the sector continues to perform. Looking ahead, for growth to be maintained, firms must keep pace with retail landscape changes. Alternative finance can help ensure that they are plugged into key markets.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony on 01903 602211 or tony.hedger@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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