PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Business Intelligence: Tips, Trends and Resources

By at 1 April, 2022, 2:11 pm

By Karen Kerrigan –

This week’s roundup focuses on digital tools and marketing.  As I note in the first item below, two new Deloitte studies reveal how the growth and use of digital tools are shaping the behavior of consumers when it comes to shopping online and off. Consumers are “seamlessly using both digital and in-person retail options.” What do your customers prefer? That is for you to continuously explore and then meet those expectations.

Consumers Embrace a Mix of the Offline and Online

New studies by Deloitte for the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) on small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) reveal the evolving nature of consumer shopping preferences. As noted by CCIA in a press release about the studies:

“The rapid growth of omnichannel retail has allowed both SMBs and large national retailers to find synergies between their physical and digital channels, adding further value to physical stores. The survey finds that consumers are seamlessly using both digital and in-person retail options, more often than not within the same journey, to find the products they want, at the best price, and with a fulfillment method most convenient to them. The research supports the idea that consumers don’t think of shopping in segmented terms of online and offline.”

The studies note specific data on how consumers are behaving as they embrace the “mix of the physical and the digital.” For example:

● 72% of consumers reported shopping more than one retailer on a recent shopping trip: 42% shopped two retailers and 30% shopped three or more retailers.

● Two-thirds of shoppers used a digital device while in a retail store to compare prices and products online and in-store simultaneously.

● 55% of respondents who started their most recent shopping journey online made their purchase in-store.

● 44% of consumers preferred having multiple fulfillment options when purchasing online, rather than just defaulting to home delivery.

● 46% of consumers will pay more to pick up an item in-store 5 minutes from home rather than wait for two-day delivery.

● 78% of predominantly online shoppers compare prices amongst multiple retailers vs 66% of predominantly in-store shoppers.

● 55% of shoppers who routinely purchase a specific product category online switch to in-store for new occasion purchases, and 33% of shoppers who routinely purchase a specific product category in-store switch to online for new occasion purchases.

● SMBs are taking advantage of the omnichannel fulfillment option and leveraging their physical stores: 61% offer buy online, pick up in-store, and 50% offer buy online, same-day curbside pickup.

The Deloitte studies are worth the read as small business owners review the effectiveness of sales channels. It is also important to listen to customers to better understand their preferences in order to meet those needs.

Bonus Resource:

Consumers Embrace Digital Experiences In-Store: What You Need to Know, TotalRetail

 

What Instagram’s New Product Tagging Feature Means for Your Brand, Shopify

Everyone’s an Influencer

A Shopify blog post observes that the simple tag on Instagram “is about to get a powerful upgrade.” As noted in the piece, “Tags can now link directly to product pages integrated into the shopping tab. This feature was previously limited to Business and Creator accounts but is rolling out to all US users by this summer.”

The bottom line?

“Thanks to this change, it will be possible for more of your fans to shout out their love for specific products – and drive sales in the process. Not only is this a big deal for brands that want to spread the word about their goods, it also allows fans to make more direct connections with the standout items they love.” Read more on how to make the most of product tagging here.

BONUS RESOURCE: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Instagram for Business

 

How to Use LinkedIn: The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide, CROWDSPRING

DYK: LinkedIn is the world’s leading business network, with more than 800 million members? And that, 25% of adults in the U.S. regularly use LinkedIn? This marketing guide developed by Crowdspring reviews effecting strategies for marketing on LinkedIn, and as noted in the guide: “The right LinkedIn marketing strategy can help you build credibility, network, and grow your business.”

 

SCORE Webinar: Connecting with Customers in a Digital World

April 7 – 1:00 p.m. ET

It’s no secret that customers are the lifeblood of your business, and connecting with them is crucial to your long-term success. While digital channels and tools make it easier to reach a larger audience than ever before, the challenge is to make each customer experience as meaningful as the personal, human-to-human connections of the pre-digital world.

In this session, Michelle Rowe, FedEx Services Director of US Performance Marketing, shares digital marketing expertise that will benefit businesses of all types and sizes, including tips on utilizing channels such as email and social media, paid ad strategy, and the importance of personalized messaging.

You’ll learn about:

● Online correspondence etiquette

● Driving traffic to your website

● Choosing the social media platforms that fit your message

● When and how to send emails

● Developing paid ads that convert

For more information or to register for free, click here.

 

The Benefits and Cons of Selling on Amazon: 10 Factors to Consider, Indigogo 9 Digital

Amazon is a massive marketplace, and third-party sellers make up 60% of Amazon’s eCommerce sales, two to three million of these are SMBs. Is Amazon right for your brand and your business? This piece covers the pros and cons, but in the end the decision to launch and stay with Amazon will be driven by the business’s success using the platform along with other key issues such as cost and control.  

Bonus Resources:

9 Data-Backed Reasons to Sell on Amazon in 2022, Wordstream

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Selling on Amazon, Shopify

 

Understanding Etsy Fees, Small Business Trends

As noted in Small Business Trends, “There are various types of fees that sellers should be aware of, including listing fees, transaction fees, and advertising fees.” These are outlined in the article that comprehensively covers all the Etsy fees. If you are just starting out on Etsy or want to learn more about using the platform, see how to start an Etsy shop and how to be successful on Etsy.

 

5 New Rules to Get Customers to Advocate for You, Startup Professionals

“Welcome to the ‘Participation Age’ of marketing,” writes Martin Zwilling. He covers five rules for effectively pulling off a participation marketing strategy, which are taken from Daina Middleton’s book “Marketing in the Participation Age.” As Zwilling summarizes in his blog post about the “how to’s” of making this work:

“The message is simple. Ask your customers and partners for ideas, try them all, measure results, and scale up the ones that work. The participants, not the marketers, are in control, and they are demanding a relationship, not just a marketing message. If they don’t find value in the relationship, they move on. The choices and opportunities are theirs.”

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

 

 

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