3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Nov. 15
About 43% of small-business owners are more optimistic about holiday sales this year versus 2011. While a majority of those surveyed expect customers to buy from their bricks-and-mortar stores this holiday season, 41% expect the majority of their sales to come from online orders.
As a result, small businesses are being selective when it comes to the online tools and promotional methods they will adopt this holiday season. "For example, the 82% of small businesses have not, and will not, run promotions with Groupon or other 'daily deal' sites this year. In fact, only 3% of respondents said these types of promotion sites have brought them repeat business," Manta says.
On the other hand, many small businesses run online stores or promotions through sites like Etsy and Facebook (FB) . Yet 47% of small businesses perceive Etsy, the handmade marketplace that caters to hundreds of thousands of very small retailers, as the brand that is the most unsupportive of small businesses. Other brands that were listed include Groupon, eBay (EBAY) and Amazon (AMZN) . According to Manta, about 40% of small-business owners perceive each of those companies as unsupportive to their business. Twenty-nine percent say Facebook is the brand that is the most supportive.
Separately, for brick-and-mortar retailers, "an eye-catching window display can draw in foot traffic and promote holiday specials," according to Fastsigns, a leading franchise that creates professional interior and exterior signage and displays.
If you haven't already, retail locations should be in full-swing preparation for the holiday season. Small independent shops can create distinctive and unique displays by adding holiday decorations and visual communications to highlight promotions and sales. There are many options including window graphics, wall and floor decals, banners, point of purchase signs and QR codes, Fastsigns says.
"If your store is located on a busy road, a banner may be more legible to drivers than smaller window signage," Fastsigns suggests. "Point-of-purchase signs can remind customers to check more items off their to-do lists with an additional purchase. Place small-ticket items near the register and point them out as fun stocking stuffers."
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.