As part of a Government plan to get people online, a Digital Inclusion Strategy was launched last year with a target of reducing the number of people without access to the internet by 25% by 2016.
The aim of London’s Digital Inclusion Strategy is to get more people actively engaging with the internet. It is particularly focussing on those who are facing barriers to access. The strategy lays out the current picture on digital exclusion and identifies barriers to getting online and looks at what is being done to address these barriers.
How can it help your business?
1. Provide a new audience
With nearly a third of all card transactions taking place online, by giving more people access to the internet the strategy should open up a whole new market to your business.
The figures from the UK Cards Association also found that the average transaction for online spending was £96.10, compared to nearly half that (£46.53) for in-store purchases. This means your new audience might even spend more.
2. More tech savvy audience
As part of the strategy, Age UK London is running ‘techie tea parties’ which include tablet tasters and gadget clinics giving older people the support they need to go online and learn digital skills.
Not only will this expand your audience but it will make them more tech savvy. They will hopefully be able to access your site, negotiate it and use various forms of online payment such as PayPal. It also means that they will be able to access information about your company from their phone and tablets.
3. More ways to interact
Part of the training being offered due to the strategy is aimed at giving older people the skills to keep in touch with family and friends through social media and filling in online forms.
This training in social media gives you a new outlet to interact with your audience. Social media is a great way to provide a more personal approach to feedback. Also, by learning how basic forms are used, your audience will be better able to communicate with you through your website.
4. Access to training
The strategy found that 72% of employers say they would not interview an entry level candidate without basic computing skills, while those with good ICT skills earn between 3 and 10% more than people without.
With more people having access to the internet and with a variety of training programmes being launched as part of the strategy, it’ll open up your potential workforce. Not only that but you can sign some of your current staff up to the training programmes so they are fully tech savvy.
5. Government support
The Mayor of London, as part of the strategy, is offering micro-grant vouchers towards the connection costs incurred by businesses that make high speed broadband accessible to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to support economic growth.