IT Skills Deficit, Product Constraints Inhibit SMBs From Boosting Online Sales

Approximately 43% of small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) revealed they’d like to increase their upsell and cross-sell opportunities online, but they face two major barriers:

  • They can’t add organic products and services that fit their company mold; and

  • They lack the internal IT skill set to integrate products into their current e-Commerce platform.

To gauge the state of e-Commerce capabilities among SMBs, Assurant Solutions conducted an online survey of more than 450 SMB merchants across the U.S. In total, 34% of these retailers said they presently earn 25% to 50% of their annual revenue from online sales. As many as 35% report their online sales have grown at least 25% over the past five years.


A majority (56%) of retailers aren’t generating additional revenue because they haven’t found a convenient method to increase their average order value. These merchants say less than 10% of their online sales come by way of upselling or cross-selling at the time of checkout.

“It’s clear that smaller merchants want to amplify their online sales potential, but many of them are unsure how to make it happen cost-effectively,” said Matthew Pufall, Director of Product for Assurant Product Protection. “A simple way to accomplish this is by leveraging a platform-agnostic e-Commerce solution that offers protection plans for a variety of products in their catalog, and provides customer support through a trusted third-party partner.”

These retailers have various opinions as to how they can manage to reel in more revenue. The most common opinion, held by 27.4% of retailers, is to sell more products and services that are specifically designed to enable more revenue opportunities. Additional suggestions to boost online sales include:

  • Offering more complimentary products (26.2%);

  • Easier integration into partner platforms (26.2%); and

  • Integrating support services from partner providers (15.5%).

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