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DIGITAL PAYMENTS AND CROSS- BORDER BUSINESS KEY GROWTH ENABLERS FOR FREELANCERS AND SMBS ACROSS THE UAE
PayPal , a global leader in digital payments has launched the findings of its UAE SMB and Freelancer Digital Readiness Survey , in partnership with British market research and data analytics firm , YouGov . The research aims to analyse how businesses in the UAE have adapted during the pandemic by adopting a digital first approach and leveraging the cross-border opportunity . The research also highlights barriers to digital adoption and key priorities for freelancers and SMBs .
Conducted between January to February 2022 , PayPal ’ s UAE SMB and Freelancer Digital Readiness Survey analyses the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses , the key verticals of growth and growing acceptance of digital payments . The results are based on interviews with 300 UAE-based SMBs and freelancers .
Digital adoption and international expansion continue to be a focus in 2022
Despite the uncertainty of business longevity going into the pandemic , the survey highlighted that half of the respondents saw a positive impact of the pandemic on their business .
The key factors included an increase in productivity as employees worked from home ( 33 %), reduction in overhead costs ( travel , real estate costs ) ( 32 %) and the ability to access a global customer base outside of the UAE ( 31 %). These findings demonstrate that businesses have not only been able to sustain growth without the need for a physical space but have also performed better with 28 % of respondents reporting an increase in customer base and 31 % reporting an increase in customers from outside of the UAE .
Building an owned online presence is a key priority going forward
With a rise in sales , nearly half of respondents are looking to build their own e-commerce website and app in the future or to have a presence through a third-party e-commerce marketplace . While online has always been a lucrative option , the pandemic has only increased its role in helping businesses grow . Meanwhile , just 28 % of the UAE entrepreneurs have an online business , while close to half the respondents have a presence both online and offline . Only half ( 50 %) said that they are likely to increase their online presence in the future .
Among those who have an online presence , 36 % have their own e-commerce website or an app and a similar proportion have a presence through a third-party platform . About 43 % have a presence on social media using clickable ads on Instagram , Snapchat , etc .
With adoption of digitalisation , 41 % of the respondents have seen increased purchases through social media channels with more consumers using online payments ( 39 %). With these findings , it ’ s no surprise that a staggering 83 % are likely to increase their online presence in the future and nearly half of the respondents are looking to have their own e-commerce website or app giving them better control . �
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