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IONOS Small Business Study Sheds Light on Digitalization and Sustainability in the U.S.A.

The web hosting and cloud provider surveyed 1,000 business respondents in a YouGov poll on their attitudes towards their business’ digital future.

Philadelphia, June 7, 2022

IONOS, Europe’s largest web hosting provider, recently surveyed 1,000 American businesses with a YouGov poll to assess attitudes towards digitalization, sustainability, and social responsibility. All respondents ranged from 18–55+ and were in a variety of leading roles — from business owners and CEOs to heads of divisions in companies with up to 250 employees.

Importance of digitalization on future business viability

73% of respondents stated that digitalization was either “very important” or “fairly important” to the future of their business. For the purposes of this survey, “digitalization” covered having an online presence, online marketing, and communicating and working digitally. When asked to describe their “digitalization status”, this is how the YouGov poll participants responded:

  • 65% reported having a base online presence with a website
  • 30% reported selling products online in an online store or similar fashion
  • 60% are using an email address that matches the name of their business
  • 47% are already active on social media
  • 40% are engaging in email marketing
  • 41% are working digitally with productivity tools or collaboration solutions

The most important reasons for digitalization are:

  1. Getting found online (74%)
  2. Winning new customers (68%)
  3. Customer satisfaction (67%)
  4. Revenue growth (63%)

Obstacles to digitalization for America’s businesses

Respondents were asked about the biggest major and minor barriers to digitalization. Cost and lack of time were the two largest major barriers, at 46% and 45%, respectively. This was followed by lack of know-how and uncertainty about security and data protection, both at 34%, and lack of interest at 25%.

Attitudes towards sustainability and social responsibility

A majority of respondents, or 55%, cited sustainability as being important to the future of their business. Respondents were then asked to rate how important individual criteria are in terms of sustainability.

Here are the key findings (ranked in order of importance):

  1. Improving the health and safety of employees — 66%
  2. Recycling or reuse of materials — 63%
  3. Local, social responsibility — 58%
  4. Saving energy — 55%
  5. Choosing sustainable suppliers — 42%
  6. Developing sustainable products — 35%
  7. Carbon neutrality — 32%

The biggest obstacles to improving sustainability were lack of necessity (37%) and financial resources (23%).

The data used is based on an online survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of IONOS from January 14 to 21, 2022. 1,000 people participated from companies with up to 250 employees.

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