RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Accenture’s analysis in APAC SMB Adoption found that SMBs in China, Indonesia and Japan remain unaware of the benefits online platforms provide.
  • Our research shows that the SMBs in these Asian markets who do adopt digital tools enjoy growth rates almost twice the magnitude of non-users.
  • The APAC SMB market holds enormous promise for platform companies, however, three specific issues must be addressed to create successful outcomes.
  • Acknowledging concerns about value, support and security, Accenture explores three paths to platform success in the SMB market.


SMBs that adopt digital tools grow faster. So why aren’t more taking advantage?

Accenture’s analysis in APAC SMB Adoption found that SMBs in China, Indonesia and Japan—juggling decisions on where to spend their valuable time, resources and money—remain unaware of the benefits online platforms provide in creating customer growth, increasing revenue and improving customer satisfaction.

For platform companies, this presents a major growth opportunity in Asia Pacific. And it’s an opportunity that cuts both ways. Our research demonstrates that SMBs adopting digital sales, commerce, marketing and services tools consistently outperform their non-digital peers. In addition to better financial performance, digital SMBs show higher revenue and growth rates year over year, while non-digital SMBs’ growth and revenues remain flat.

68%

of all SMBs (digital and non-digital) are not planning to increase investment in new tools.

Why SMBs are not prioritizing digital adoption

SMBs in these markets have key concerns where platforms are concerned. In the results of our 2018 Accenture Research, across 1,500 SMBs in Indonesia, China and Japan, the following factors stand out:

They don’t see the value

72% of non-digital SMBs are unsure digital platforms will help their business. 65% think platforms are expensive and difficult to implement/maintain.

SMBs don’t feel supported

Lacking the confidence and resources to pursue their own digital strategies, SMBs require technical and business support to start using digital tools.

SMBs have security concerns

SMBs’ anxieties are well founded. 71% of SMBs in Hong Kong have experienced a cyber incident in the past 12 months.

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Three recommendations for improved platform adoption

The APAC SMB marketplace holds enormous promise for platform companies. However, SMBs clearly have specific issues that must be addressed to create successful outcomes. Drawing on our experience, we believe there are three paths to platform success in the SMB market:

Persistent relevance offers big organizational dividends

A critical first step is to overcome SMBs’ perception that platform products and services are complicated, difficult to implement and expensive:

  • Craft education and onboarding tools designed to get to the core interaction early in the adoption journey.
  • Build interactive tools to help calculate the benefits of your platform to their business.

Provide simpler, more tailored support

SMBs need simple and intuitive ways to prioritize resources and save time.

  • Design straightforward support capabilities providing personalized mentoring.
  • Ensure support-as-a-service programs match platform capabilities to SMB needs, provide frictionless implementation and onboarding and improve SMBs’ experimentation with evolving technology.

Champion trust as a competitive advantage

Gone are the days when users would willingly hand over all their information without clear reason or payback.

  • Allow SMBs to act when data about them and their business is wrong by designing for transparency.
  • Prove that what you get out of using their data doesn’t outweigh the value they get from sharing it.

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James Kim

Managing Director, Asia Pacific Lead – Software & Platforms


Jacqueline Morgan

Principal Director – Software & Platforms


Kathleen Wheeler

Senior Manager – APAC Software & Platforms

Contributors

Kevin Collins

Managing Director – Software & Platforms


GP Singh

Managing Director – Communications, Media & Technology, ASEAN


Masafumi Kojima

Managing Director – Communications, Media & Technology, Japan


Charles He

Managing Director – Software & Platforms, Communications, Media & Technology, China


Shan He

Associate Manager – Accenture Research

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