Welcome to your roundup of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week, we have statistics relating to consumers’ shopping habits, data breaches and the rise of card purchases.

Shopping on mobile

New research unveiled by PayPal has found that, despite the increase in mobile sales, only 18% of the UK’s small businesses are mobile optimised.

A UK-wide survey of more than 2,000 SMEs and 2,000 consumers found a growing gap between online shoppers’ mobile preferences and what small businesses are offering.

According to the research, mobile shopping is outstripping overall online spending by four to one in the UK. The trend, the data suggests, is set to continue, with 30% of Brits expecting to use their smartphone to shop more often over the coming year.  When looking at the 16-25 cohort, the figure rises to 44%.

Commenting on the findings, Nicola Longfield, director of small business at PayPal UK, said: “With mobile web browsing overtaking desktop for the first-time last year, it is more important than ever that businesses adapt. Bridging the gap between customer expectation and what businesses are offering need not be daunting. There are small changes businesses can make to give themselves a boost, and the top item should be making websites more mobile friendly for smartphone or tablet. Shoppers are increasingly frustrated by websites which require them to pinch the screen to zoom in and scroll endlessly to find miniature checkout buttons.

“Knowing your customer is all-important. The profile of a UK mobile shopper is very similar to an online shopper, so it really is a case of fine-tuning business practices to make the most of customers’ habits. This could be sharing promotions on customers’ favourite social channels, scheduling marketing emails to coincide with peak mobile shopping times, or simply offering recognisable payment options to give shoppers that extra confidence in their purchases.”

Data breaches

According to Fortinet’s ‘Global Enterprise Security Survey‘, some 85% of businesses have experienced a data breach in the past two years.

Despite this, though, 48% of IT decision-makers believe that executives are not adequately prioritising cybersecurity.

Additionally, the research highlighted three key drivers for cybersecurity in business:

  • An increase in security breaches and global cyber attacks: 49% of IT decision makers said there has been an increased focus on IT security following global cyber attacks, such as WannaCry.
  • Increased pressure from the regulators: Another important driver of board awareness is the proliferation of regulation, 34% of respondents reported. With major fines threatening the bottom line, such as the impending GDPR compliance for European data.
  • Transition to the cloud as a catalyst for security priorities: As organizations look at migrating to the cloud as part of their digital transformation, 74% of IT security decision-makers believe that cloud security is becoming a growing priority. 77% of the respondents also affirm that cloud security is becoming a key priority for the board.  As a result, half of those surveyed (50%) are planning investment in cloud security in the next 12 months.

Cashless shopping

In more shopping-related stats, one in six British shoppers (17%) is now a “card-only” consumer who never uses cash to pay for their shopping in an average day.

A further two in five people (38%) describe themselves as “card-first” shoppers, who would typically try to pay with a card first before they have to pay with cash.

That’s according to a new study by Square, which looked into the changing attitudes towards paying for goods and services in modern Britain.

Square’s research found that up to three million of Britain’s small businesses still do not accept cards. Yet six in ten (60%) would shop more at small businesses in the local area if they could pay by card.

According to the research: nearly one in three (30%) haven’t taken out cash from an ATM or bank in the last week. The average Brit has just £32.54 in cash in their purse or wallet right now – given that the average transaction in the UK is £18.42, this isn’t even enough to cover two typical purchases.

Commenting on the research findings, Sarah Harvey, UK lead for Square, said: “British business is fiercely competitive, and nowhere is that truer than on the High Street.  Small businesses are competing with larger competitors who have greater resources, so they need to make use of every advantage they can get. That means making it as easy as possible for their customers to buy from them, including accepting card payments alongside more traditional methods like cash.

“Technologies like Square mean that there are fewer barriers between businesses and their customers, so they can ensure they always make a sale.”