x

Please fill out this short user survey of only 3 questions in order to help us improve the site. We appreciate your feedback!
Online advice for SMEs on how to improve their productivity through the adoption of proven digital technologies
Last registered on May 10, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Online advice for SMEs on how to improve their productivity through the adoption of proven digital technologies
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007646
Initial registration date
May 10, 2021
Last updated
May 10, 2021 11:44 AM EDT
Location(s)

This section is unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2021-05-11
End date
2022-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in England adopt productivity improving software at far lower rates than those in other comparable economies; this trial is evaluating whether a website that provides guidance and information to SMEs on how to purchase and implement the best software for their needs can improve adoption rates of software systems. The population being studied is SME banking clients of a high street bank in England.

This trial will compare outcomes for SMEs receiving differing levels of support from a Relationship Manager (RM) at their bank to use the website. In Arm 1 (the control arm), SMEs will not be given any information about the website. In arm 2, SMEs are provided only simple signposting to the website by their RM. In Arm 3, SMEs will be signposted to the website and will additionally have their RM walk through the website with them in a regularly scheduled meeting.

This is a cluster randomised trial; relationship managers will be randomly assigned to trial arms.

The primary outcome for this trial is steps taken towards adoption of software systems. The secondary outcomes are: a) adoption of software systems across five categories; b) intention to adopt software systems across five categories; and c) product engagement rates (self-reported use of the website)
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Cathro, Claire. 2021. "Online advice for SMEs on how to improve their productivity through the adoption of proven digital technologies." AEA RCT Registry. May 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7646-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The trial is evaluating a website that provides guidance and information to SMEs on how to purchase and implement the best software for their needs. In one arm of the trial, SME managers will receive some simple signposting, encouraging them to use the tool. In another arm of the trial, SME managers will be supported to use the tool by their RM at their bank in regularly scheduled meetings that take place between the SME manager and the RM. In the control arm, no signposting or support will be given.
Intervention Start Date
2021-06-16
Intervention End Date
2021-10-18
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The number of steps taken by an SME towards adopting technology
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
SMEs will self-report in a survey the number of steps they have taken in the previous three months (since the start of the treatment period), from a list of 15 possible steps.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Product engagement (usage of Be the Business Digital), adoption of software in 5 categories in previous 3 months, intention to adopt software in 5 categories in next 12 months
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This is a clustered, three arm trial, with two treatment arms and one control arm
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomisation done in office by a computer (Stata)
Randomization Unit
Cluster randomisation at the RM level, stratified on region
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Exact number of clusters will depend on recruitment - anticipate 50-200+ clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Exact number of observations will depend on recruitment - anticipate 350 - 500 SMEs
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Relationship managers will be randomised equally across the three arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDES of 0.43 to 3.98 steps, based on between 50-200+ clusters, cluster sizes between 4-8, ICC between 0.1-0.5, and outcome standard deviation between 2-6
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number