With the holiday season in full swing, Constant Contact, the small-business-focused digital marketing and automation platform, released a special holiday edition of its Small Business Now report. The company’s survey was conducted by Ascend2 and polled 500 SMB decision-makers in the U.S. at the director level or higher and 500 U.S. consumers 18 years and older.
The research measures how the final three months of the year are critical to small and midsize businesses’ success, the value of consumer holiday shopping and how SMBs are using tactics to help drive sales.
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“The holiday period is a crucial time of year for small businesses as they work overtime to attract new customers, hit revenue goals and plan for the year ahead,” said Laura Goldberg, chief marketing officer at Constant Contact.
SMBs are feeling the pressure during the fourth-quarter holiday season, especially in the retail sector. Half of all SMBs reported that 25 percent of their annual sales occur during this time. And 75 percent of retail SMBs noted that they rely heavily upon holiday customers, with 73 percent of retail SMBs polled stating that they attribute more than a quarter of their annual sales to holiday shopping.
The good news is, a recent report by WWD found that consumers and retailers are both in high spirits and are predicting that consumer spending will exceed pre-pandemic spending for the first time.
Moreover, consumers want to help small businesses during this time. Consumer respondents told Constant Contact that the number-one reason for choosing to visit or buy from SMBs is to support the business and their community and with a majority (84 percent) saying they are likely to visit SMBs they’ve never purchased from before. Even more promising, 87 percent of consumers polled said they will return to SMBs in the future after visiting or buying during the holidays.
However, the report’s authors note that it many not be enough, comparing the majority of small business owners who say the ongoing support is paramount while only a third of consumers feel that visiting or purchasing during the holidays makes an impact on the SMBs’ success. SMBs look at the holiday season as a time for growth and said that attracting new customers is the biggest goal for the end of the year, followed by retaining shoppers and planning for the next year.
Goldberg said as Constant Contact continues to see the impact that holiday shopping has on small businesses, the company encourages SMBs to tweak marketing strategies to activate fourth-quarter consumers. “Constant Contact is a trusted partner to small businesses around the world, and we will continue to fuel their success with powerful marketing tools to help them send better emails and texts to holiday customers, meet year-end objectives, and keep those shoppers engaged in the new year.” Among tools that have brought success to SMBs during the holidays are personalized emails, social media ads and sales or discounts.
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