UK businesses risk ‘missing out’ on 4G benefits, Barclays finds

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A study by Barclays shows over half of online businesses expect 4G to increase traffic to their sites, but 89 per cent have not developed their website for mobile devices

The majority of UK businesses are unprepared for the shift in consumer activity away from PCs and laptops to mobile devices, a study by Barclays has found.

The bank’s ‘online business outlook 2013’, published today, found that despite 34 per cent of online businesses seeing a rise in mobile traffic to their website since Christmas last year, 89 per cent have not yet developed their website for mobile devices.

Over half (50 per cent) believe 4G networks will further increase mobile traffic to their website, but 45 per cent are unsure of whether their website will be able to cope with the additional traffic from super-fast mobile broadband connections.

And while 64 per cent of online businesses in the UK believe a mobile strategy is an important factor in their 2013 business success, 60 per cent admit they are yet to device and implement one.

Online businesses that have altered their sites for mobile devices or created apps generated 27.8 per cent of their revenues from mobile in 2012, the study found.

Barclay’s managing director and head of technology, media and telecoms Sean Duffy said: “We are advising our online clients to become mobile-ready, as it’s a significant opportunity, particularly with the imminent roll out of 4G networks across the UK due to make mobile browsing easier for more and more consumers.

“Businesses that fail to move with the times risk losing out on valuable e-commerce opportunities.

“In our experience, online businesses that have already invested in the mobile side of their business through the development of mobile-ready websites or apps are already seeing a significant proportion of their business coming from mobile devices.

“Our research backs up what our clients are telling us – mobile-ready online businesses generated more than a quarter of their revenue from mobile last year. Considering that the average online business in the UK generated £8.9 million in revenue in 2012, this equates to almost £2.5 million of potential income through mobile.

“Online business is already booming and with the number of mobile consumers only set to rise, our view is that it will continue to do so.”

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