Nine out of ten businesses across the Leeds region felt outdated technology systems were hindering their ability to keep up with new challenges and the pace of change, according to a new report launched today by Adyen, the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies. Despite this, the report highlights how many businesses in the city have successfully pivoted and continued to grow during this difficult period.
The Leeds City Report: Power in community is based on a survey of more than 100 businesses from the Leeds area, alongside interviews with 13 senior business leaders and industry experts. The research provides a deep-dive into some of the key challenges Leeds-based businesses are currently facing, as well as actionable advice to overcome them.
A widespread shift towards online selling has helped keep businesses afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The tough conditions have placed a renewed importance on digital solutions for businesses across the region. To support income during periods of local and national restrictions, many have adopted new solutions for sales, delivery, and customer experience to help them survive.
98% of businesses invested in an ecommerce store, and almost all (99%) increased their share of sales or revenue through ecommerce last year. Many also considered diversifying their offerings with subscription services (53%) and vouchers (51%). Nearly half considered selling merchandise and just under one third considered using crowd-funding platforms.
As well as new revenue streams and the adoption of online stores, the report also reveals that, in the face of restrictions and social distancing, many businesses found success in alternative distribution methods. More than two-thirds implemented home deliveries and click-and-collect (57%) and curb-side pick-up (50%) were also popular. In fact, only 3% of businesses indicated that they hadn’t invested in any alternative distribution methods, highlighting how businesses across Leeds have moved quickly and decisively to secure their future.
The report also found that community was a powerful success-driver in Leeds, with a genuine spirit of pulling together manifesting itself in the city’s many communities and networks.
Colin Neil, SVP Business Development (UK) at Adyen, said: “We’re excited to share the first of our City Reports. By speaking to customers, partners, and local experts, we hope to shine a light on key challenges and growth areas in some of the UK’s most exciting cities. Leeds is an important Northern tech hub with a high concentration of technology solution providers, making it a great place to operate if digitisation is high on your list. It’s also, as the report reveals, home to a powerful business community which works together to drive everyone forwards.”
The Leeds City Report: Power in community includes contributions from organisations including North Brewing Co., an award-winning craft beer brewery and bar chain, Ayko & Pinpoint, two industry leading Leeds based agencies, as well as Digibete, an online platform for educational resources around Type 1 Diabetes and Leeds Beckett University.
Through qualitative insight and quantitative data, the report identifies the challenges businesses in the region face and how they can overcome them.