a digital lender serving underbanked SMEs, recently released the survey on ‘Digital Adoption Trends Among SMBs‘. The survey indicated that approximately 66 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across India have migrated to online sales.
SMEs have adopted Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp
The survey revealed that approximately 77% of SMEs in the clothing segment sold online, while SMEs in mobile and accessories and food and drink (F&B) selling online amounted to 73 percent and 67 percent respectively.
The investigation also revealed that 81 percent of SMEs in Mumbai have sold online. This is followed by 66% of SMEs in Bengaluru and 63% of SMEs in Hyderabad selling online on different platforms. Facebook or Instagram remained the most popular platforms in cities.
Google Enterprise (35 percent), WhatsApp (13%) and Facebook Where instagram (7%) were the top three digital platforms where SMBs had their listings to discover. Interestingly, while 30% of SMEs had an online presence, they were not listed on these or other platforms such as online directories, loyalty platforms, and did not even have their own app or website.
Among the cities surveyed, SMEs in Mumbai were the most visible online (24%)Bangalore tracking (13%)and Delhi (8%). Facebook and Instagram were the most popular online discovery channels, particularly by apparel, restaurants, FMCG, drugstores, spas and salons.
UPI was the most popular online payment method
Money always ruled with 70% opt for cash sales. UPI was the most popular online payment method used by SMBs in all cities to accept payments from their customers. Acceptance of UPI payments was highest among SMEs in Hyderabad at 22%, followed by Bangalore at 18%. Adoption of digital payments was highest among SMBs in the gas pump segment (32%), followed closely by mobile and ancillary, F&B, and pharmaceutical establishments.
SMBs have shown resistance to adopting digital delivery
Delivery by their own staff has been the most popular delivery method for almost 50% of SMEs. Only 6% have used online food delivery apps, and more than 35% did not deliver at all. SMEs in Delhi showed the highest preference for delivery by their own staff, while delivery through online applications was widely observed among SMEs in Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Possibility for SMEs to digitize their operations beyond the GST and IT declaration
The GST and IT return was the most popular business transaction to be digitized by 67% SMEsfollow-up of invoicing and accounting and inventory management. Digital inventory management was popular among SMEs in Mumbai, other than GST and IT Filing, while SMEs in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru showed a strong preference for digitizing their billing and accounting operations.
SMBs have embraced various digital channels for customer engagement
Across all segments, digital engagement with customers via reviews and ratings on Google, Just Dial, etc.. was the highest, followed by promotions on SMS, WhatsApp and email.
The survey was conducted from February to December 2021 on the company’s proprietary diGibizz platform and garnered responses from 9,564 small and medium business owners in India. SMBs were assessed on several metrics including online sales, digital payments, as well as,
- Digital Discovery — assess the online discoverability of SMEs on different platforms
- Digital delivery — assess companies’ partnerships with delivery platforms, online marketplaces or delivery through their own digital order fulfillment model
- Digital operations — assess the use of different digital tools/platforms for accounting, bulk orders, etc.
- Digital Customer Engagement — leverage social media, online feedback forms, campaigns, etc. to monitor customer satisfaction
The survey saw the participation of SMEs in several sectors, including food and beverage (F&B), mobile phones and accessories, clothing, grocery (FMCG), pharmacies, spas and salons, fuel pump segments. Around 9 a.m.3% of SMEs surveyed had an annual turnover of less than Rs 1 crore – Among these, 69 percent had a turnover of less than Rs 50 lakh. About 7% of SMEs in the survey were owned by women.
Speaking of the investigation, Arun Nayyar, CEO of NeoGrowthnoted,
“With the unprecedented economic, social and business disruption due to the pandemic, we have seen SMEs embrace technology to integrate business operations for fully seamless operations. The digital adoption survey reveals challenges such as lack of awareness of various digital solutions, loss of business due to limited reach, and inefficient inventory management leading to delays and lost business. »
Speaking of diGibizz, Arun said they launched it a year ago. It connects small business owners with an ecosystem of partners providing a plethora of services and products for SMEs, providing access to become digital ready and fueling growth. “We aim to give small businesses the right digital solutions to make them resilient and grow their businesses,” he adds.