Digital Journey of Small and Medium Enterprises

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are characterized by various stages of digital journey. We public Deloitte study1 main results of using digital tools in SMEs segment. To prepare the report, 1,000 small and medium-sized business owners, as well as top managers of companies, were interviewed.

According to the report, 23% of all companies in this segment have basic digitalization. 41% have medium digital engagement. 36% SMEs have high or advanced level. Management of interviewed companies with high and advanced level of digitalization report that customer engagement growth happens thanks to digital tools. At the same time, the opportunity to attract international clients increases five times for such companies.

Companies with a high degree of digitalization understand their customer better. Innovation helps open up new markets. There are more new ideas for the development of products and services. Experts estimate that companies with advanced level of digitalization are three times more likely to enter new markets.

Almost all companies use digital tools for communication. Less than half of SMEs (40%)2 use sales management tools. Among the main digital tools for communication are email (75%), company website (68%), social networks (53%), video conference (36%), mobile application (24%).

For internal management and logistics, SMEs use Cloud-based software (67%). Corporate social networks turned out to be the least in demand for these purposes (19%). The rest of the tools were distributed as follows: 30% Customer Relationship Management tools (CRM), 24% Intranet, 21% internal software to connect sales with supply-chain operations, 20% enterprise resource planning tools.

The tools that companies use to manage sales are very important. About 40% of SMEs sell online. For this purpose, they use websites or marketplaces. 30% of all companies use their own website. 20% of CMEs are sold through marketplaces. 60% of companies that sell online use accumulated customer information for their own purposes of increasing loyalty and profits. 40% of SMBs sell them at their store.

It was noted above how digital tools can help for internal communications, logistics and sales management. Now let’s take a look at the benefits that digitalization of business brings. The most popular (60%) is the increase in customer satisfaction. A more personalized approach, support service, chat bots and many other approaches help with this. 22% percent of CMEs reported a decrease in operating costs. Among the main benefits are also attracting new customer segments, launching products and services, etc.

The main tools that helped attract customers were recognized: company website, social networks, CRM, SEO, Mobile App. All digital tools are ultimately aimed at increasing income. As a result, according to the survey, the main growth drivers were: Existing customers (61%), Existing products or services (41%), New customers (80%), New products or services (31%).

1Final Report, Deloitte Financial Advisory, 2019

2In brackets is the percentage of surveyed companies that gave positive answer