New Insights on Small Businesses and Consumer Use of Digital Tools

Update on October 20, 2020 at 12:01AM PT:

Today we’re sharing findings from the second Facebook-commissioned research study by Deloitte that examines how SMBs have changed their digital strategies since the COVID-19 pandemic began. These findings demonstrate how digital tools are helping SMBs adapt and overcome some of the challenges of the current environment.

  • 77% of the SMBs we surveyed indicated they started using or increased their usage of digital tools at some point in the customer lifecycle, with social media and online messaging seeing the most growth. 
  • Younger and female business leaders were more likely to adopt or increase their usage of digital tools. 
  • Of the now-open SMBs that closed at some point during the pandemic, an increase in digital tool usage was associated with shorter closure periods. 
  • SMBs that increased their usage of digital tools were nearly 4 times more likely than other SMBs to target new customers with their marketing efforts and were 3.5 times more likely to launch new products.

And 78% of SMBs that started using digital tools during this time expected usage to further increase after the pandemic.

Check out the latest Digital Tools in Crisis and Recovery SMB report.

Originally published on September 17, 2020 at 3:00AM PT:

Today we are releasing the third edition of the Global State of Small Business Report, a research collaboration with The World Bank and OECD to provide monthly updates on how small businesses are faring as they weather the global pandemic. From surveying an additional 25,000 small businesses across more than 50 countries in July, we found that:

  • While small businesses continue to reopen, many still reported lower sales and sustained reductions in employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Financial challenges have overtaken lockdown orders as the primary reason surveyed small businesses reported being closed.
  • Many small businesses have seen the benefits of shifting to e-commerce. Businesses that reported making over 25% of their sales online were more likely to report higher sales than this time last year, and less likely to have reduced their number of employees as a result of the pandemic, compared to businesses that made less than 25% of their sales online. 

We’re also sharing findings from a research study we commissioned from Deloitte that examines the impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ purchasing patterns and their use of digital tools to search for and interact with businesses across 13 markets.* 

  • 48% of consumers surveyed reported an increase in online spending since the outbreak of COVID-19, and 40% of respondents said they increased their use of social media and online messaging for product and business recommendations. 
  • Nearly two-thirds of shoppers surveyed who substituted one of their frequented businesses for a new one reported using digital tools to discover these new businesses. 
  • Of those surveyed who started shopping at new businesses since COVID-19, 73% said that at least one of those new businesses was a small business.
  • 31% of respondents said they plan to increase their spending with small, local businesses when the COVID-19 pandemic is over. 

Read the third Global State of Small Business Report and Deloitte’s Digital Tools in Crisis and Recovery consumer report.  

*Australia, Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka, UK, US



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