Only one in four Greek small enterprises has an electronic store or is hosted on an online marketplace, even though that was the only way to make sales over long periods of time in the first couple of years of the pandemic.
That rate is of course higher than the 17% rate straight after the first lockdown in 2020, and the pre-pandemic rate of 14% (in 2019), but the digital gap between small and large companies, as well as that between Greek and European small and medium-sized enterprises, remains considerable.
According to the Digital Readiness Index compiled by the Electronic Trade Laboratory (ELTRUN) of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), only one in five SMEs is at an advanced stage of digital readiness, while one in two is at an initial stage.
The digital transformation of enterprises amid the new conditions created is not at all a luxury: “Transition to the digital age is a matter of survival,” noted Thanos Falaggas, enterprise business marketing and CRM director at the OTE Group, during the presentation of the ELTRUN survey on the digital readiness of SMEs on Tuesday.
The findings of the survey presented by AUEB professor Giorgos Doukidis showed 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 e-store and 7% being hosted by a marketplace. Four out of 10 enterprises with an e-store conduct over 10% of their sales online.
ELTRUN further found that 59% of SMEs use social media, with Instagram being increasingly popular (65% of companies use it against 49% in 2020). Almost half of the SMEs (48%) conduct online promotion campaigns, up from 36% in 2020.
There has been an increase from 52% to 63% in the share of companies with a call center, which is particularly significant when it comes to serving their customers and increasing their sales, given that every other SME with a call center saw telephone orders increase.
Therefore the digital readiness index of SMEs has grown from 4.06 points in 2020 to 4.49 points.