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Local and Small Business Report

Keeping up with Small Business trends can be overwhelming–so we’ve taken the latest and greatest reports and put everything you need to know into this one blog. Small Business ReporteMarketer—the authority on digital marketing, media and commerce—just released a series of reports on the habits of consumers shopping local and small businesses. Today we’re boiling the results up in one quick, easy to skim blog, just for you.

How are shoppers looking for small businesses?
It’s probably no surprise that 75% of shoppers are looking for small businesses online. Additionally 42% of shoppers are using online review sites to look for new businesses while 27% are vising the website of a business they have researched. Short answer: Online

So what marketing channels are small business owners using?
That’s a big question! Let us break it down for you. Short answer: Social Media

Social Media
By far the most popular way for small business owners to reach consumers is Social Media Marketing, with over 54% of respondents saying that’s their preferred channel. Also, according to eMarketer, “26% of US millennial internet users relied on Facebook for price comparison and researching products, while just 18% used other social media sites”.

Website or Blog
Following social media, 15% of small business owners believe their website or blog is the best way to reach their audience.

Email
At lot of us are using email but as a primary channel. It’s losing out to social media with just 12% of small business owners reporting it’s the primary way they reach their audience

Everything else
Paid online ads (4%), text messages (3%) and “other” (10%) marketing channels make up the other ways most small business retailers are reaching their audiences.

What social media site should I focus my time on?
As a small retailer, you’ve got a lot on your plate. If you’re looking to simply socialize and focus your time on just one platform, then we’ve got your number. Look no further than Facebook. The tried and true network has the largest social reach (the most US users) and now we know that 45% of US local internet users follow local businesses on Facebook. Compare that to just 18% of Twitter users and 15% of LinkedIn users and it’s clear where you should focus your time. Short answer: Facebook

Are small business retailers focusing in Millenials?
When asked if they marketed specifically to millennials, just 15% of small business owners said yes. Among the 85% who don’t market specifically to Millenials, 42% simply didn’t consider millennials a primary audience, and 24% weren’t sure how to reach this group. The inside news is that, of a second group of respondents who did market to millennials, 80% reported seeing positive results. Short answer: Not so much, but you should!

So what are customers seeing from small businesses online?
Shoppers were asked what local businesses are offering online vs what they want to see. And the results are great! 67% of shoppers have seen improved websites. 54% have seen competitive pricing and 49% have seen more specials, deals or offers. Finally, when it comes to customer service, 45% have seen a greater focus. Short answer: What they want!!

So what are your next steps?
Take a look at your online marketing. Make sure you have a strong presence on Facebook. Consider your website—is it mobile optimized? Easy to navigate? If you say yes, you’re doing the right things to attract shoppers—and millennials—based on these new survey results.

Are you reaching shoppers online? Do you see new customers finding your business online? Have you found Facebook to be a resource for your local business? We’d love to hear about your successes—and learning experiences—in the comments below.

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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