Only 24% of SMEs have an online store
Only one in four Greek small businesses have an e-shop or are hosted on an online marketplace, even though it was the only way to make sales for long periods during the first two years of the pandemic.
This rate is of course higher than the 17% rate just after the first lockdown in 2020, and the pre-pandemic rate of 14% (in 2019), but the digital divide between small and large businesses, as well as between Greeks and European small and medium-sized enterprises, remains considerable.
According to the Digital Readiness Index compiled by the Electronic Commerce Laboratory (ELTRUN) of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), only one in five SMEs are at an advanced stage of digital readiness, while one out of two is at an initial stage.
The digital transformation of companies under the new conditions created is not at all a luxury: “The transition to the digital age is a matter of survival”, noted Thanos Falaggas, director of corporate marketing and CRM at OTE Group, during the presentation of the ELTRUN survey on the digital readiness of SMEs on Tuesday.
Survey results presented by AUEB Professor Giorgos Doukidis showed that 78% of SMEs now have a website, up from 70% in 2020. However, only 24% of SMEs can sell online, with 17% having their own online store and 7% being hosted by a marketplace. Four out of 10 companies with an online store make more than 10% of their sales online.
ELTRUN further found that 59% of SMEs use social media, with Instagram becoming increasingly popular (65% of businesses use it compared to 49% in 2020). Almost half of SMEs (48%) run promotional campaigns online, up from 36% in 2020.
The share of companies with a call center increased from 52% to 63%, which is particularly important when it comes to serving their customers and increasing their sales, since all other SMEs with a call center have seen their phone orders increase.
Thus, the digital readiness index for SMEs fell from 4.06 points in 2020 to 4.49 points.