The overall outlook for the post-Covid period in Saudi Arabia is positive with 66% of entrepreneurs believing they will emerge stronger than before, says a survey. Some 43% of Saudi businesses surveyed plan to enhance their social and digital presence and online sales activity in 2022, says GoDaddy, the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs around the world, in its Mena Survey 2021. The report also states that 43% of respondents in the kingdom have built their website with the help of their own employees. Conducted in October, 2021, the annual topline report spanned over 800 respondents and examined the effects the global pandemic has had on entrepreneurs and small business owners in the kingdom. Using a three-pronged approach; Business, Marketing and Technology and Digital indices, the report evaluates the factors affecting the growth of small businesses in the country. Selina Bieber, General Manager, Turkey and Mena, GoDaddy said: “With the positive increase in digitalisation among Saudi Arabia’s small businesses as reported in the Mena Survey 2021, GoDaddy is dedicated to driving the success of small businesses with their online growth and expansion. We are here to support with the necessary tools and resources for website creation, ecommerce stores and digital marketing tools and by leveraging GoDaddy’s in-depth knowledge and experience, to help business growth.” Focusing on factors such as the allocation of efforts and resources, sales channels and social media platform mix, the report shows that in the kingdom, a large proportion of human resources is directed towards sales (18%), followed by operations and marketing activities (17%). The most popular sales channels are company websites at 47%, followed by a brick-and-mortar shop at 42% and lastly through social media at 30%. In terms of social commerce, the report saw that Instagram was the most popular platform at 68%, followed by Facebook at 62% and finally WhatsApp at 62%. In the kingdom, annual revenue based on online sales channels figures at 41%. Other factors studied include the types of customers, business challenges and the impacts of Covid-19 on business growth and development. Saudi respondents observed that B2C consumers account towards being their main customer type at 49%, while medium and small businesses accounted towards being their second type at 19% and 14% respectively. Furthermore, seasonality and dependence on events as well as tourism emerged as the top aspects on which companies believe their success depended on. With respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, the report stated that over half of respondents in Saudi said that their business has grown either significantly or slightly since the onset of the pandemic. All businesses have had to change the way they operate the business as a result of the pandemic. The entirety of respondents mentioned that the main challenge was to increase the number of new customers. Research findings also discovered that Saudi businesses have started online shops as well as expanded their online presence at 28%. Expectedly, for those respondents who do use online sales channels, their sales were observed to have grown significantly or somewhat as a result of the pandemic (77%). Having social media presence was observed to be one of the main marketing methods used by all Saudi businesses followed by their own company website and logo. It is interesting to note that businesess seem to be very engaged in different types of marketing activities in the Saudi market. Nearly 43% claim to have built their website with the help of their own employees with top website features including sales of products and services. Finally, the survey concludes that 43% of Saudi businesses surveyed plan to enhance their social and digital presence and online sales activity. By that they intend to do better in search engines, monitor traffic to their website and create a responsive design for the website as well as hire external online advertising in 2022. GoDaddy had tasked market research and data analytics company, YouGov, to conduct the survey between founders, owners and CEOs of small businesses as part of a region-wide survey encompassing the kingdom, UAE and Egypt across cities. The survey was conducted by way of online interviews and structured quantitative questionnaires administered in both English and Arabic. After nearly two years of operating within a global pandemic, small businesses and companies across the region weathered the storm with varying degrees of success. Result from the regional GoDaddy Mena Survey 2021 indicate a promising future for entrepreneurs despite a global pandemic. 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