PayPal highlight small business 'blind spot'

Date published: 22 November 2018

New research shows that small businesses in the North West are continuing to lose sales by not offering websites that adapt for easy use on smartphones.

Now in its third year, PayPal’s mobile commerce research reveals a vast gap between consumer expectations and what small businesses provide: while nine out of 10 small businesses with mobile websites think that they offer customers a good experience, only four out of 10 consumers agree.

Despite 42% of people buying on mobile at least once a week, rising to 65% for consumers age 25-34, it remains a blind spot for small businesses.

Despite being among the most mobile-friendly regions, only 25% of small businesses in the North West offer websites designed for use on mobile devices.

In contrast, Manchester and Liverpool both rank among the top ten European cities for mobile shopping.

The annual research has also found an increase in consumer confidence when spending on mobile, with shoppers willing to spend more than £100 in an average mobile transaction – up from £80 in 2017.

In a nod to the changing retail landscape, 22% of consumers said they prefer shopping on their mobile rather than the high street, a figure that has more than doubled since 2016; and 30% of consumers said they expected to shop on mobile more often in the next year.

Commenting on the findings, Nicola Longfield, Director of Small Business at PayPal UK, said: “With people increasingly shopping on their mobile phones, small businesses need to wake up to the fact that there is still a large gap between what customers want, and what they are receiving.

"If websites remain difficult to use, small businesses will simply miss out on sales.

“There are relatively easy fixes that business owners can make to get more mobile sales.

"For instance, offering mobile-friendly payment options like PayPal, so that customers don’t have to enter lengthy card details, and formatting websites for scrolling without needing to zoom in can make a huge difference.”

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