Tuesday 20 July 2021 12:31 pm

Pandemic impact: Third of businesses to ramp up online presence and reduce physical foot flow

Covid-19 saw most businesses close their doors indefinitely to the public and cause some to permanently shut.

Many small business owners would not have survived the pandemic without creating or improving their digital presence, according to technology company Cisco, saying 40 per cent managed to get through the pandemic thanks to an online platform.

In fact, a third of UK businesses are planning to expand their focus online and reduce their physical foot flow, the study found.

Throughout the pandemic nearly two thirds of businesses saw sales drop with over half of surveyed owners stating future business now depends on online activity and digital footprints.

Although technology can boost growth, half of owners now view ‘reliable and fast connectivity’ as a leading factor to their future, yet 1 in 10 were unsuccessful to increase digital footprints because of ‘poor connectivity’.

Nearly a quarter of London-based businesses and 30per cent in the finance sector say saying poor connectivity had held them back digitally, highlighting a cause of concern with fast-tracked technology use.

Small businesses account for 99per cent of UK companies, with most now having changed the way they work and deliver services in a post-covid environment. 52per cent of owners believe there is ‘no going back’ to pre-pandemic times and are having to look for innovative ways to adapt to circumstances.

Despite government lifting restrictions on July 19, 47per cent of small business owners say employees can continue to work remotely all the time; and 39per cent offering more flexible working schemes.