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Digital channels diminish SME barriers: the case of the UK

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja
Issue number1
Volume29
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)217-232
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/05/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This article investigates the usage of digital channels by UK small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and assesses the impact caused on their strategic marketing position. The research is based on statistical analysis of 66 surveyed SMEs in the context of the digital era. Despite indications from the relevant literature about the reluctance of SMEs to adopt advances in technological communication, the research reported indicates a high level of usage of digital channels, especially social media (SM). The web 2.0 technologies that facilitate the new digital channels are standardised, interactive, ubiquitous and cheap. These features change the way how companies communicate and shift fundamental marketing and business concepts. Due to this shift, the SMEs’ barriers for technology adoption, including lack of financial resources, knowledge and skills, are diminishing. The latter, supported also by the research findings, increases the impact of SMEs bringing them closer to the large corporations in the global marketplace. The study is significant because it extends previous knowledge on technology adoption, with findings about the adoption of digital channels by SMEs, but more importantly, it opens up a novel insight into strategic literature for SMEs.