Just under half of survey respondents say they have experienced an increase in online transactions over the past 12 months, which is a modest increase on the equivalent figure from our 2011 survey. Thirty-one percent claim online activity is not applicable to their line of business.
Three quarters assert that the growing strength of online purchasing represents only a minor threat to their own businesses. Fifty-three percent of respondents expect to increase the volume of their online transactions over the coming year, but a further 29 percent feel these activities do not apply to their businesses.
However, 65 percent of businesses say they do have plans to introduce new digital communication channels to engage with customers over the next 12 months. Of these companies, nearly a third will be enhancing their websites. Although, if this is just through freshening up colours, and look and feel, this will not be enough to keep up with the needs of consumers.
Businesses should be considering their strategic direction for the next few years and ensuring their website is enhanced to align with their business model. Other favourite additional digital channels are email communication and smart phone applications.
Only 34 percent of respondent businesses are currently using social media in their marketing mix with a further 21 percent saying they will ‘consider’ the use of social media at some point over the next year. Of those using social media, Facebook continues to be the most popular medium, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.