According to a Mastercard study of over 400 Australian SME businesses, over half (58 per cent) of businesses are changing or diversifying their product or service in 2020, and even more (66 per cent) are planning to diversify or change their product offering in 2021.
Thirty-six per cent of SMEs are planning to launch a new service, 24 per cent are planning to launch a new social media channel while 34 per cent are looking at launching new products for their customers.
“Australian SMEs continue to show incredible resilience and agility in spite of COVID-19, and the Aussie ingenuity the nation is so famous for has played an essential role in getting businesses back on their feet. Innovation really is the bright spot amid the pandemic,” said Richard Wormald, division president, Australasia, Mastercard.
“Continuing industry support for these businesses with digital solutions and resources will be essential for the future.”
As for the mindset of SMEs in 2021, the survey revealed optimism across Australia has doubled from 2020 (34 per cent) to 2021 (68 per cent) as businesses continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Half (52 per cent) of SMEs nationwide are optimistic about the next 12 months, with seven in 10 (70 per cent) believing they will come back stronger in 2021 and beyond.
The survey also found that SMEs are also feeling positive about revenue, with more than half (56 per cent) forecasting an increase of at least 10 per cent during the next 12 months.
In response to COVID-19, SMEs accelerated their use of digital and e-commerce solutions and are confident about the effect that online activity will continue to have on their businesses’ bottom line in 2021, the research revealed.
Six in 10 (61 per cent) Aussie SMEs are expecting revenue to increase from online sales, with half (54 per cent) forecasting an increase of at least 10 per cent from online sales specifically in 2021.