This survey was conducted to gather information on how UK businesses have reacted to the Covid-19 crisis, how well prepared were they, how have they adapted their business for this unexpected period, where have they invested during the crisis, and do they think this will change how they do business in the future.
In the Retail sector, it appears the industry has not responded well to the COVID-19 crisis and is quite negative about the future application of digital services to its business operations. It did not seem to have an optimistic stance prior to the crisis either, trailing all but Construction as the industry most concerned about their digital preparedness.
The survey was conducted between 6th-9th May via the Google Survey online panel which is a Google business product that facilitates customised market research.
The survey collected data from 1660 participants in the UK, aged 25-64, out of which 694 were eligible for participation in the actual survey conducted. The gender breakdown was 51.4% male and 48.6% female.
Eligibility was determined via a question on the role of participants in business life and only those fulfilling the role of owner, partner, director, senior management or employees were allowed to participate in the survey.
In questions 5-8 the participants were shown a scale from 1-7, 1=Disagree 100%, 7=Agree 100%. In the analysis, those answering 1-2 were categorised as “Disagree”, 3-5 as “Indecisive” and 6-7 as “Agree”. These percentages were then aggregated at the bottom of each graph. These graphs are presented below.
The survey found that Owners/Partners are less satisfied with the actions taken by their company in order to survive the crisis. They also considered their business to be less prepared for the crisis than previously thought.
The data shows small companies being less proactive in adapting to the crisis and not viewing it as a catalyst for any significant change in their online operations, with medium and larger companies biasing to the alternate position.
With this question about COVID-19 and the digitalisation actions of their company, respondents from the Retail sector fall more decisively into either agree or disagree. As mentioned in the previous question, the sector has been dealing with the impacts of online shopping for many years. It is possible, therefore, that each company surveyed has either embraced a digitalisation strategy before the crisis, or they are lagging behind. Even with 46% indicating a positive outlook on their recent digitalisation actions, they are still second to last again, falling behind even the Construction industry – a sector where you would expect Retail to fare better given the success of e-commerce.
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