SME retailers using social media | RBS Invoice Finance

Third of SME retailers using social media 'heavily'

Nearly a third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the retail sector are using more than three social media platforms to scout for new business.

A recent survey by SAP Anywhere, which questioned more than 100 senior retail business leaders between April and May 2016, discovered that around 29% of retail-based SMEs are using three or more social media platforms to attract and retain business. These platforms include, among others, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.

The survey also revealed that more than three-quarters (79%) of those questioned said that technology was aiding their business in many different ways. Roughly 40% said that technology was helping them achieve their business goals. While roughly 30% admitted that technology was vital in helping them develop sales leads and find new audiences for their products.

Closely related to social media, around 13% of respondents said that digital technology was enabling them to improve their customer services and provide a better customer experience.

However, there were also some concerns about relying on technology to a large extent. Some 23% of those surveyed said that cost was holding them back from further digital investments. Around 21% said technology was actually eating up too much of their time. Meanwhile, 17% of those surveyed highlighted security concerns and fears of being hacked.

EJ Jackson from SAP Anywhere said:

"Retailers want to manage and drive their social media, to understand and interact with customers, post simultaneous news, then gain instant tracking and feedback, making social interactions simple and very beneficial to their business. The number using social media will grow exponentially as social selling becomes a critical business opportunity for retailers."

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