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NEWS - 2019 03 05 - 10:25

Only 20% of small and medium-sized companies in Latvia use online channels for sales

Survey by SEB bank indicates that only 20% of small and medium-sized companies in Latvia are using online channels to sell their goods or services. In Lithuania 22% and in Estonia 25% of companies are using electronic channels for sales.

Latvia also has the lowest share of SMEs who are planning to start selling their goods or services online - only 13% have confirmed they have such plans for this year. Meanwhile in Lithuania 17% and in Estonia 21% of companies are working to open their online sales channels this year.

Arnis Škapars, board member of SEB Latvia: "More than two thirds of small and medium-sized companies in Latvia are not using internet as a channel for their sales. This fact makes me worry, because the trends suggest that customers’ expectations lie elsewhere. More and more people wish to shop in internet stores. Therefore if a company decides not to offer their goods or services online, they are in fact limiting the number of their clients both in the local market and in exports, because for customers from abroad more often than not online channels are the only opportunity to buy from Latvian companies."

However, survey results suggest that awareness about the importance of digitalization is growing among the small and medium-sized companies in Latvia. 45% of SMEs in Latvia have said that digitization-related activities are important in their plans for this year. A year ago only 30% of companies chose this response. In Lithuania 44% and in Estonia 51% of companies agree that digitization activities are high on their agenda.

Baltic Business Outlook is an annual survey by SEB bank, establishing expectations of Baltic small and medium-sized companies in five areas: changes in turnover, number of employees, exports, innovations and investment. Baltic Business Outlook 2019 encompasses answers by 4200 small and medium-sized businesses across Baltic States, including almost 1200 Latvian companies. The survey was done in December of 2018.

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