France Num publishes the 1st Barometer on the digital transformation of VSEs/SMEs conducted by CREDOC

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France Num publishes the 1st Barometer on the digital transformation of VSEs/SMEs conducted by CREDOC

France Num, an initiative led by the French General Directorate for Enterprises (DGE), presented Alain Griset, Minister Delegate for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, with the first 2021 barometer of VSEs/SMEs (0 to 249 employees). Conducted by CREDOC (Centre de recherche pour l’étude et l’observation des conditions de vie), this study quantifies the progress made by companies since the health crisis and identifies the obstacles and levers for accelerating digital transformation.

This first barometer is in line with the BCG-EY study of 2020. It shows a clear increase in digital equipment, with managers and freelancers convinced of the real benefits of digital. Find the infographic of the barometer at the end of the article.

Progression of digital equipment since the Covid crisis

  • 66% of the companies that took part in the study have a website presenting their activity, compared to 37% before the crisis, i.e. 29% more.
  • 43% have an online document exchange platform compared to 17% before, an increase of 26%.
  • 29% use paid referencing compared to 15% before, an increase of 14%.
  • 33% use professional collaboration tools compared to 21%, i.e. an increase of 12%.
  • 20% have their own online sales site, up from 9%, an 11% increase.

Digital solutions used: online sales, visibility on the Internet and management tools

Online sales

  • 27% of companies have at least one online sales solution which represents 18% of their turnover.

There is a disparity between these companies:

  • The accommodation and catering sector is in 1st position for online sales, 50% of companies sell online.
  • The building construction sector is in last position and 9% of the companies sell on the internet.

Internet visibility

81% of the companies have an internet visibility.

There is also a disparity between sectors

  • The accommodation-restaurant sector is also in first place with 93% of the companies selling online.
  • The transport and logistics sector is in last place with 42% of companies visible.

Management tools

  • 95% use at least one digital management solution (spreadsheet, cybersecurity tool, accounting tool….)
  • 80% have at least one digital work organisation solution (instant messaging)
  • 24% work with a production, purchasing and logistics management solution (purchasing software, etc.).

Piracy is a real fear of managers and self-employed people in VSEs/SMEs according to 44% of them, whereas it was only 36% before the crisis. Companies that do not sell on the Internet mention irrelevance to their sector of activity, the need to update their website and the fear of piracy. Those who do not have a website cite the first two reasons, but also a limited return on investment.

Mr Alain Griset declared:

Digital technology must be a tool at the service of our VSEs and SMEs to enable them to conquer new markets, improve their customer relations, simplify the day-to-day management of their business… in a word: to be more competitive. This barometer proves that our action is bearing fruit and that we must, in conjunction with France Num and its partners, step up our efforts to support business leaders who want to start digitizing

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This 2021 barometer reveals the progress of digital equipment since the pandemic but also the need to continue along this path.

Translated from France Num publie le 1er Baromètre sur la transformation numérique des TPE/PME réalisé par le CREDOC

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