For small and local companies, establishing a strong social media presence is a key factor for success. Here are eight steps to effectively sculpt that presence.
Feeling overwhelmed by the apparent complexity of data privacy laws is understandable. But these issues are experienced by marketers throughout the country, and there are many resources available to help your business become compliant.
This post is the latest in our “Disrupting Retail” series. It’s our editorial focus for the month of February, and you can see the rest of the series here. One positive phenomenon of the Covid era has been accelerated digital transformation in traditional sectors. This could be a blessing in disguise, as sectors like retail could […]
From a big-picture perspective, innovative tech providers are recognizing that SMBs don’t need all the bells and whistles that may come with an enterprise solution. They need tech that solves critical everyday problems that are common across the local landscape.
One of the emerging technologies driving innovation amid Covid is AR. For example, its ability to add real-life interactivity to e-commerce gained traction in 2020. This could extend to a post-Covid world of “touchless” retail for in-aisle virtual product interaction.
Small businesses have had to squeeze every bit of value out of their operations in the past year and are quickly realizing the importance of knowing their customers. Luckily, collecting and taking action on data doesn’t have to mean learning an entirely new skill set.
Rather, it can be as simple as using the information that you already have, or could easily access, to improve the things that you’re already doing.
For those independent businesses that made the leap to order-ahead tech, the financial rewards in 2020 were significant. According to data from Odeko, coffee shops using order-ahead marketplaces prior to Covid-19 saw a net increase in customers with little-to-no drop-off in existing customers this year.
We review the top mobile ordering platforms for coffeeshops.
A secure company email account is just as important for small and medium-sized businesses as it is for large enterprises. More often than not, it’s email-based breaches at Fortune 500 companies making the news, but SMBs are targeted by email threats just as often, if not more.
Because of the enormous spike in online transactions, there are more ways for customers to shop than ever before, creating new opportunities for small businesses to connect with core segments and personalize messaging with data-based insights grounded in historical trends and real-time behaviors. The ability to target individuals based on where they have previously been is tremendously valuable as consumer behavior has been required to adjust to ever-changing guidelines at the state/city and local level.
Understanding the journey from a lead to a customer is critical, and with most online shoppers needing some form of customer support before they complete a purchase, implementing CRM as a small business should be a goal early on. With that in mind, let’s discuss a few tips small businesses can use for CRM implementation.
As local businesses and SMBs adjust to their new realities, digital transformation initiatives have surged — namely in the form of pivoting to e-commerce selling and delivery models. Why? It’s no secret that online sales have taken the lead across the business landscape during Covid-19, and that is likely to continue.
Snap continues to make moves in local commerce. Historic steps include geo-filters, while more recent activity includes Local Lenses and business listings in Snap Map. These features are notable on their own, but they get more interesting when you view them together and extrapolate to Snap’s local road map.
For example, Snap has more 13-34-year-olds active than any other channel, including Facebook and Instagram. This essentially means Snap can offer SMBs incremental and non-duplicated reach to an attractive audience.
As the pandemic continues, consumers are shifting their expectations of brands as well. They don’t just want coupons in their email anymore, they expect an intuitive browsing and checkout process, accurate inventory and out-of-stock notifications, curbside delivery, and fast shipping.
E-commerce is already a must-have, and small businesses who understand this and take steps to offer their customers a way to buy online will create a memorable experience, more long-term loyalty, and ultimately more sales this holiday season.
To continue delivering products and services to their local communities safely — no matter the fluctuating restrictions — businesses are offering order-ahead, curbside pickup, touchless payments, and sophisticated delivery options, whether through their own operations or through third-party providers such as GrubHub and DoorDash. These flexible distribution options not only help drive continued momentum, they also create a myriad of new valuable customer data points that must be captured and incorporated into rapidly evolving customer engagement strategies.
For many of the small businesses that have stayed afloat so far, e-commerce has become the new focus. A quarter of brick-and-mortar retail businesses surveyed in June said they’ve already added an e-commerce channel to their operations this year. Retail SMBs either want a piece of the growing pie that is e-commerce sales in 2020, or they’ve realized they won’t survive without an online sales component.
Whatever the motivation, the uptick in e-commerce sales has set the stage for SMBs to start boosting their revenue. And to complement the current market conditions, the rise of no-code tools is making online retail success more accessible than ever to SMBs. These solutions are proving to be the surfboard that helps small businesses successfully ride that e-commerce wave.
As we roll into August, it’s time to establish Street Fight’s monthly editorial focus. After our standard ritual (no animals harmed), we’ve settled on “The Next Normal.” Forced to adopt new technologies just to survive, some local businesses have experienced a decade of evolution in just a few months.
So the question is, how will newly elevated local businesses transform the local commerce landscape? If a large share of the local business universe has raised its game, what will be the new “bar” in local media, advertising, and commerce? How should tech providers adjust to new demand signals?
It has been an especially hard few months for small businesses, many of which will never reopen or will take months – if not years – to recover financially from the shutdowns and reduced patron numbers.
Despite the challenges, there are very real opportunities for sustained growth during this time. To survive and thrive during this next period, local businesses must deepen their customer relationships despite having fewer resources available. While it may sound like a conundrum, this actually presents a significant opportunity to deliver a personalized customer experience and drive loyalty.