Small and medium-sized enterprises identify customer demand for online promotion and sale platforms
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - According to a recent UPS Canada survey, the majority of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) agree that e-commerce plays an important role in their business (62 per cent). The first of two parts of the Small Business Challenges survey, conducted by Leger, reveals a company's website (64 per cent) and Facebook (40 per cent) are the most frequently used e-commerce channels.
"What we're hearing from our customer's corresponds with the data; we spend a great deal of time understanding their platforms and inputting solutions to maximize efficiencies," says Jim Bena, vice-president of marketing, UPS Canada. "E-commerce is a prominent component of business and customers are expecting a seamless experience across multiple channels."
"By expanding our e-commerce site we've seen our online sales match those of our in-store sales and I doubt it will be long until they surpass them," says Kyle Van Der Velden, owner of North American Quality Purveyors, a local Calgary menswear distributor. "UPS has been extremely useful for sending goods internationally, which has helped broaden our customer base to almost every continent."
"Four in five SMEs surveyed engage in e-commerce and we are seeing innovative approaches being taken to tackle challenges such as regulatory obstacles," adds Bena.
One such recent regulatory challenge is Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Some 53 per cent of respondents indicated that the time and costs to manage new regulations such as CASL is restricting their business growth. CASL came into effect July 1, 2014 to ensure consent when commercial electronic messages are sent to Canadians.
Only half of respondents (48 per cent) to the UPS survey said that they have a plan in place to address CASL. A further quarter of respondents (23 per cent) revealed that they plan to use their e-commerce channels that are in compliance with consent regulations to counter the impact of Canada's anti-spam legislation to their marketing initiatives. After a company website and Facebook, email (23 per cent) tied for third place with in-store/in-person interactions and Twitter are most frequently used within the SMEs' toolkit for providing an omnichannel experience.
Other important findings from the UPS Canada Small Business Challenges survey include:
- 35 per cent agree that CASL has forced their business to find new ways to market their product to customers
- Two-thirds of SMEs surveyed feel that e-commerce is 'an important part of our business' (62 per cent)
- 75 per cent agree that mobile and digital communications, including e-commerce, is essential to the future competitiveness of their business
From e-commerce solutions to understanding border compliance and trade regulations, UPS offers innovative Small Business Solutions to integrate an omnichannel approach into supply chain strategies. Small businesses also get a 20 per cent discount by signing up for the UPS Small Business Program.
"About 13 per cent of SME respondents to our recent survey said that their e-commerce play was a major factor attributable to their success," adds Bena. "We want to continue to see this percentage grow as the impact e-commerce can have on a business's success is evident. Such as North American Quality Purveyors – who saw their e-commerce revenue match their retail revenue - show us that e-commerce, combined with the right partner expertise, can be the key to help grow business exponentially."
UPS Canada celebrates Canada's over 1.1 million small- and medium-sized businesses during Small Business Week taking place October 19-25, 2014. Watch for more SME e-commerce success stories on the UPS website. #UPSSME
This survey was completed on-line between August 11 to August 22, 2014 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 302. Individuals working for, or running, a business that currently spends at least $5,000 annually on shipping were interviewed. Only those at a director or senior manager level or above qualified. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 5.7%, 19 times out of 20.
UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at ups.com® and its corporate blog can be found at blog.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.
SOURCE: UPS Canada Ltd.