Can’t See the Web for the Trees

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The last year has been full of surprises and challenges for businesses of all sizes. The Covid-19 pandemic began to show its impact quickly from March 2020, and has created unexpected difficulties for people and their working environment throughout the following 12 months and beyond. Even at the time of writing in June 2021, businesses are still working out what the new normal will look like for them.

One definite that the last year has shown is the accelerated shift many SMEs have made to digital. In October 2020, we ran a survey to understand the impact Covid-19 had on the services and tools they provided, as well as how they communicated with their customers. This showed that through sheer tenacity and flexibility, SMEs were quickly adjusting their online offering to suit this new business landscape. Read our Who’s Getting the Message report to find out more.

Now that things are opening up, and with over a year of lockdown experience to look back on, we wanted to question SMEs again, to look into how this has affected the priorities and performance of marketing their businesses, when compared to the priorities of consumers, with a key focus on the quality of their online offering.

To find out more we ran the following:

  • A survey of 1,011 UK SMEs
  • A survey of 2,039 UK consumers
  • Website analysis of 1,130,861 domains showing the performance of business websites (in partnership with Insites)

To really understand the niche differences between core industries, we’ve also taken a closer look at seven key sectors: automotive, commercial services (e.g. commercial cleaning, building equipment hire, commercial construction hire), domestic services, hair & beauty, hospitality (e.g. restaurants and takeaways), professional services, and trades. From these, we can start to get an understanding of exactly where their priorities lie, compared with the wants and needs of their customers.

Survey methodology

1,011 SME owners and 2,039 consumers were surveyed in April 2021 by Censuswide on behalf of Yell Business.

Download SME survey data

Download Consumer survey data