About 72% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) have increased their online presence in the last one year post the pandemic, according to a ‘Small and Medium Business Trends’ report based on a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce.
The survey was conducted among 2,534 SMB owners and leaders in various countries including India. The surveyed businesses employed 2–200 people and had annual revenue of less than $1 billion or the local equivalent.
The survey revealed that the majority of SMBs (83%) have at least some of their operations online, of which, 95% moved a portion of their operations online in the past year.
“Safety and convenience for customers and employees are driving this shift. Further, nearly three-quarters of SMBs have increased their online presence (for example, on social media, website, email, ads) over the past year,” the report said.
The report revealed that effective use of technology can be a differentiator for SMBs, helping build relationships and establish a foundation for growth.
Most growing SMBs (71%) said their business survived the pandemic because of digitization. And during a time of change, growing SMBs are accelerating technology investments. Their top motivators are to increase productivity (62%), improve business agility (60%), and increase data security (54%).
More than three in five SMB leaders (62%) said their business could not have survived the pandemic using technology from a decade ago. “Tech usage has directionally increased across the board since August 2020. This shift is unsurprising after a year of remote work and digitized customer experiences. SMBs particularly rely on technology that enables both, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Medium and growing businesses leverage CRM more than other businesses,” the report said.