Half of Scottish SMEs expecting best ever Christmas as people spend more

Almost half of smaller businesses in Scotland are expecting their best ever Christmas as consumers start festive shopping earlier than normal and spend more.

Research by telecoms provider TalkTalk Business found that 47 per cent of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are anticipating a record Christmas.

Almost six in ten (59 per cent) say shoppers have started their festive shopping earlier than usual, while about two thirds (67 per cent) say their regular customers are now completing their Christmas shopping with them online instead of in person.

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Scottish SMEs say digital acceleration during the pandemic has been crucial to their prospects of a profitable finish to 2021. Some 81 per cent invested in their digital and online services during the Covid crisis, according to the survey’s findings.

Scottish SMEs say digital acceleration during the pandemic has been crucial to their prospects of a profitable finish to 2021. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Jonathan Kini of TalkTalk said: “It is brilliant to see small business owners expecting to have such a strong Christmas, a vital period for so many enterprises.

“By offering a mixture of face to face and online shopping, independent retailers can ensure they are ready to take advantage of consumers starting their Christmas shopping earlier than usual.

“Businesses have not only adapted for survival, but are now more robust, versatile and future ready. Part of that is in them being more digitally enabled and connected.”

Of the SME owners that made changes to their business, 61 per cent added new digital or online payment options, 57 per cent increased their online or digital marketing, and 20 per cent started offering home delivery/takeaway for products.

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