Two-Thirds of All SMBs Adopted Online Sales in 2021: NeoGrowth Survey – CRN



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NeoGrowth recently released the “Digital Adoption Trends among SMBs” survey, which indicates that around 66% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India have migrated to online sales.

The survey aimed at understanding key digital adoption trends among SMEs in India was conducted from February to December 2021 on the company’s proprietary diGibizz platform and garnered responses from 9,564 small and medium-sized business owners. in India. SMBs were assessed on several factors such as their digital discovery, online selling, digital payments, digital delivery, digital operations, and digital customer engagement.

Digital Discovery measures a company’s online presence by evaluating its discoverability on different platforms such as search engines, website. Digital delivery is assessed taking into account companies’ partnerships with delivery platforms, online marketplaces or delivery through their own digital fulfillment model. Digital Operations assesses the company’s use of different digital tools/platforms for accounting, bulk ordering, and other similar operations. Digital customer engagement measures whether the business uses social media, online feedback forms, campaigns, etc. to monitor customer satisfaction.

The survey saw the participation of SMEs across multiple sectors, including but not limited to Food & Beverage (F&B), Mobile & Accessories, Apparel, Grocery (FMCG), pharmacies, spas and salons, gas pump segments. In total, 93% of SMEs had an annual turnover of less than INR 1 cr; of these, 69% had turnover below INR 50 lakhs. About 7% of SMEs in the survey were owned by women.

SMBs have adopted Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to establish their digital presence

77% of SMEs in the apparel segment sold online, while SMEs in mobile and accessories and food and catering sold online at 73% and 67% respectively.

The survey also revealed that 81% of SMEs in Mumbai sell 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 platform in all cities.

Google Business (35%), WhatsApp (13%) and Facebook or Instagram (7%) were the top three digital platforms where SMEs had their listings to discover. Interestingly, while 30% of SMEs had an online presence for business, they were not listed on these or other platforms such as online directories, loyalty platforms, and did not even not their own app or website. Among the cities studied, SMEs in Mumbai were the most visible online (24%), followed by Bangalore (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 in cities

Cash has always ruled with 70% opting 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 SMEs 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 was the most popular delivery method for nearly 50% of SMEs. Only 6% have used online food delivery apps and more than 35% have not delivered 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

GST and IT declaration was the most popular business operation to be digitized by 67% of SMEs, followed by invoicing and accounting and inventory management. Digital inventory management was popular among SMEs in Mumbai, other than GST & IT Filing, while SMEs in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore showed a strong preference for digitizing their invoicing and accounting operations.

SMBs have embraced various digital channels for customer engagement

Across all segments, digital engagement with customers through reviews and ratings on Google, Just Dial, etc. was the highest, followed by SMS, WhatsApp and email promotions.

Speaking on the survey, NeoGrowth CEO Arun Nayyar said, “With the unprecedented economic, social and business disruption due to the pandemic, we have seen SMEs embrace technology to integrate business operations for totally transparent 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. Our platform, diGibizz, launched a year ago, connects these small business owners to an ecosystem of partners providing a plethora of services and products for SMBs, enabling them to go digital and fuel growth. Our goal is to empower small businesses with the right digital solutions to make them resilient and grow their businesses. »

Since its inception in 2013, NeoGrowth has successfully maintained its unique product proposition by offering unsecured, short-term, fast and personalized business loans with flexible repayment terms. NeoGrowth also offers Secured Plus Loans up to INR 1.5 crore to its SME clients. Having disbursed over $1 billion in loans, NeoGrowth has funded and enabled MSMEs to grow and support their businesses while continuing to pursue its mission of inclusive growth.

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