Mobile payments are key to UK SME growth, says eBay

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The majority of small businesses surveyed expecting to see mobile sales growth in the next 12 months, according to a new study conducted by eBay UK.

Of the 400 eBay and other online businesses that research partners YouGov spoke to, almost two thirds (62 %) expect a mobile sales boost from this year, with a third of businesses (32%) saying mobile will be ‘vital’ to business growth in 2016.


The next 12 months

Over the next 12 months, over a third of respondents (36%) believe that mobile sales will grow by 10% and one in five (21%) expect to see sales increase by up to 30%.

“Businesses are now fully realising the benefits of the mobile revolution” said Andy Towers, Head of Mobile at eBay UK.


The breakdown of eBay UK’s mobile sales

  • A car is bought via mobile every 2 minutes
  • A handbag is bought via mobile every 16 seconds
  • A tablet is bought via mobile every 41 seconds
  • A pair of ladies shoes is bought via mobile every 6 seconds

“Staying ahead of the mobile curve is key for us in 2016. Around 50% of e-commerce trading is now via mobile, so we’re building a new mobile friendly business homepage to drive sales and trigger further growth,” said Andrew Grant, Managing Director of Surrey based lingerie & swimwear company Clara Olivia.


Mobile payments need support

However, an interesting point was made time and time again in the report. Whilst it’s all nice to extol the virtues of mobile payments, it’s not productive if we then fail to consider what needs to be done to support and promote them.

Many of the SME respondents stressed their concerns about connectivity issues and the patchy provision of services like 4G and WIFI, saying these problems may hold their businesses back.

Over a third of SMBs (38%) feel held back by insufficient 3G and 4G coverage across the UK.

Small business owners are also displeased about the state of UK broadband by a margin of nearly two to one (63% are dissatisfied). Over half (56%) are actually calling on the Government to improve wired and wireless internet access to help small businesses.  Almost half (48%) say the Government should improve wifi in public spaces and on public transport to realise the potential of flexible working.

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