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This year has taken a major toll on all levels of the U.S. economy, from major corporations on Wall Street to mom-and-pop shops on Main Street. However, the State of Small Business Marketing survey conducted by Bluehost, the all-in-one website experts, found that small business owners are resilient and adaptable despite the current circumstances, and this extends into the holiday season.
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With almost half of small business owners (49%) seeing an increase in online revenue since the pandemic began, it’s no surprise that 65% of participants anticipate yet another increase in online sales as the holiday season approaches when compared to previous years. This, coupled with the fact that 31% of respondents believe that in-store sales will decrease this year, means that the focus on online shopping is bigger than ever.
In anticipation of the virtual-heavy holiday season, many small business owners are considering some changes to their online strategy as digital marketing has become the go-to method for ensuring success this holiday season.
As highlighted in the infographic below, the survey found that entrepreneurs are working tirelessly to expand their online presence this holiday season. Although 30% of respondents have already increased overall marketing efforts since COVID-19 began, the top three changes small businesses are implementing to promote growth during the pandemic include:
- Over a third (36%) of respondents intend on increasing social media marketing
- Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) of participants plan on increasing customer communications and emails
- Nearly 2 in 10 (18%) of respondents aspire to focus on improving search engine optimization (SEO)
However, with 31% of respondents reporting no plans to implement changes, not all small business owners are thinking the same. The survey also uncovered data on which stores are more likely to adapt to the current situation, finding that the newer the business is, the more likely it is to advertise online with targeted ads this holiday season.
Regardless of whether businesses are investing in an online presence or staying the course, there’s no doubt that this holiday season will be different than one we’ve ever experienced.