Small businesses need to get digitally savvy to survive, AMEX

It turns out that small businesses aren’t embracing the digital revolution quickly enough after new research from American Express revealed that just 52% have a website, despite it being a major convenience for customers.

The research comes as a part of American Express’ Shop Small initiative, encouraging Aussies to spend their hard earned cash at locally-owned businesses through a neat cashback offer.

While the initiative is all about getting customers through the doors of small businesses, Vice President of Small Merchant Services at American Express, Katrina Konstas said that the owners of these retailers and restaurants have to share some of the responsibility.

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“Small businesses need to focus on what’s important for their customers in this new digital age, and offer that unique, personalised customer service that the big end of town can’t. If they don’t act now, there is a real risk small businesses will be left behind,” she said.

A major digital banking innovation that is yet to take hold at many small businesses is contactless payments. According to Amex’s The Economy of Shopping Small Report just 27% of Aussie businesses currently process contactless payments despite their increasing popularity - with funding being the major obstacle.

CEO & Founder of Retail Doctor Group, Brian Walker said that by not taking up these technologies small businesses are passing up a great opportunity.

“The ability to be agile, customised and innovative is a luxury that many small businesses have over their larger counterparts, so it’s important to make the most of this advantage,” said Walker.

For retail and restaurant owners looking to get digitally equipped, Optus recently launched its Yes Business platform.

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According to Optus’ Head of Small Business, Matthew Ball, the online platform is designed to offer tips and advice as well as providing a place for small business owners to connect.

“So what we did was build an entire end-to-end community, a digital ecosystem where small businesses can come talk to each other, hear from professionals… they can crowd rate the article, share it, [and] use that information,” he said.

If you’re a small business owner after some finance to kickstart your company’s digital revolution, head to Mozo’s business credit card comparison tables to check out a host of options on the market or if you would prefer a business loan, check out a few popular non-bank offerings below.

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