Tag Archives: smb

Mobilizing Small Businesses

Recently, we posted information on how small businesses are missing out on consumer’s shift to mobile. Nearly 80% of SMBs said they do not have a mobile solution. Nearly 85% of non-mobile small businesses said they plan on having some kind of mobile solution in the next 3 years. With that in mind,, we’ll look into the factors that small businesses should be cognizant of when creating a mobile solution.

shutterstock_87972136● Half of all non-mobile businesses expect to have a mobile solution within a year, 22% said that they will be focusing on mobile in the next 1 to 2 years and 14% said it will be at least three years before they could implement a mobile solution. 16% said they would never invest in mobile
● The biggest factor that businesses investing in mobile should consider is device and platform capability – 60% of currently mobile small businesses answered this way
● Nearly half said that the ease of content authoring and content management was very important
● 46% said that personalization and easy customization should be considered
● 38% indicated that integration of external social media platforms was key
● Almost one-third remarked that CRM integration was vital to a successful mobile solution
● 22% said that adding video capabilities was significant and another 22% thought including push notifications was important

What Does This Mean To You?

There is no slowing down mobile. The technology continues to evolve and consumers are becoming more dependent on it. It more than just consumers use it for shopping, consumers mobile for virtually everything.
● The average US consumer uses a mobile device for over 8 hours per week
● The US smart phone owners have an average of 36 apps on their device
● Only 25% of apps are used on a weekly basis
Creating a mobile app is the first step, getting consumers to find the app, download the app and use the app is another challenge.
That’s something we’ll discuss tomorrow. For more information on increasing the visibility of your business, please contact:


Sources: eMarketer, Edurance; MarketingCharts.com


Small Businesses Missing Out on Mobile

Consumers are fully engaged with mobile technology. Recent studies show
that 75% of US consumers own a smart phone and nearly half of US
households have a tablet. Recently we’ve posted articles on the growth
of the mobile only consumer. While national and regional businesses are
taking advantage of mobile visibility, small businesses are not as involved
with this key consumer medium.

smartphonedollarNearly 80% of SMBs don’t utilize mobile, here
are some of the factors preventing them:
● 50% said they don’t know how to build a
mobile app
● 23% said they were too busy running their business and can’t maintain a mobile app
● 22% said it’s too expensive to develop a
mobile app
● 5% are worried about the security risks
associate with mobile


What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile commerce continues to grow. Last year, Mcommerce reached over $200 billion, this year it’s expected to hit nearly $300 billion. By 2018, mobile will account for nearly half of all Ecommerce. Also, desktop/laptop penetration is deteriorating. Some studies are showing that mobile device use eclipsed desktop/laptop use last year.
All this adds up to one thing – by not including mobile in their portfolio, small businesses are cutting off a potential revenue source. Mobile technology continues to evolve and everyday new functionality that is developing that can drive consumers to your business.
The growth of mobile has made it cheaper to have a mobile solution that small businesses don’t have to build and are easily maintained.
Lots of businesses were weary of developing online solutions. How many of these businesses that did not adapt to online are still operational?
Consumers see mobile technology as an extension of their lives. By not embracing mobile, these small businesses are at risk of putting a barrier between themselves and customers.
For more information on how small businesses can better compete with regional or national competitors, please contact:


Sources: eMarketer, Edurance

Small Businesses and Holiday Shopping

While a good deal of winter holiday shopping activities are centered around malls and big box retailers, small business have an opportunity to cultivate new consumers and create long-term customers. Even though small businesses may not have the name recognition of regional or national competitors, more and more consumers are looking to help businesses in their community.

blackfridaybags 304● 70% of consumers plan to shop at a local business during the holidays
● Over 60% of these shoppers will visit a small business because they want to support
a local business and 55%
are looking to find one of a kind gifts
● Over 40% will shop at a local business because of continence and 38% will do so because of excellent customer service
● Other reasons shoppers will patronize a small business is loyalty to local companies, special deals, free services and a relationship with business owners

What This Means To You

As a small business, you have several advantages over larger competitors. The biggest being the customer service you can offer. Going the extra mile can help you create loyal patrons.  The relationships you have can help you create these new opportunities.
How are you using positive reviews and posts?
Don’t just think of these as pleasantries from customers, they are virtual testimonials. Consumers put a great deal of value in social media postings and online reviews.
You should promote, repost and retweet these messages. You should also republish these to your own web presences. Letting others tell your story will give it more weight. But remember, that your competitors won’t be singing your praises, it’s your job to cultivate them.  Don’t forget to reward these customers who provide testimonials; it will spur others to do so and help spread your message to more potential customers. For more information on how to create more customers please contact:


Sources: Deloitte

What are Mobile Shoppers Looking For?

In yesterday’s post, we delved into the growing importance of mobile and some of the mobile innovations that are on the horizon. Today, we’ll look at what mobile consumers are looking for and how you can help create deeper connections with them.

mobile-shopping-iphone-feature● Pricing and location information makes up roughly 60% of all mobile shopping research
● 49% of consumers say they use their mobile devices to find deals
● Over half of consumers are looking for businesses within 5 miles of their location
● 53% of mobile shoppers called the business they were interested in

What This Means To You

One of the big reasons why mobile has taken off with consumers is the convenience these devices offer. The ways they make saving money more convenient is a big driver of mobile adoption.
Yesterday, we mentioned beacons and app Push Notifications.
The combination of these two things can help bring consumers into your store and help them save money. The first step for you is to get consumers to accept push notifications from your app/apps. Consumers don’t mind push notifications, as long as the messaging is valuable.
Way to encourage push notification acceptance is can range from adding it your loyalty program, contesting and in-store POS discounting. The other component is an app. If you don’t have one, talk to your developed about a cost effective app solution. If you have an app, consult with them about adding push notifications and proximity marketing capabilities. For more information on creating more impactful connections with your customers, please contact:

Al Fiala
Sources: xAd; Telemetrics

Reviews Import for Local Businesses

Our last couple of posts have centered on the types of content that help consumers make buying decisions and the role of expert opinions. A new report is out that centers on how important online reviews are to consumers when choosing a local business. Small businesses don’t have the resources that major regional or nation competitors have. They need to take advantage of every opportunity to stay competitive with these bigger name brands. Online reviews are one of the things that can help small and medium businesses set themselves apart from the crowd.
onlinereview33● Nearly 90% of consumers say they read online reviews to determine the quality of
local businesses
● Close to 40% regularly will read a review, which is up six percentage points in the
past year.
● 25% of consumers will read 2 to 3 reviews. One-third will 4-6 reviews and 18% will read 7 to 10 reviews of local businesses
● Overall, 85% of consumers read up to 10 reviews before visiting a local business

What This Means To You

The good news is that consumers are doing their homework before going shopping. These reviews can give you a competitive advantage against bigger competitors and other small local companies.
What are you doing to cultivate these reviews?
Many businesses are using surveys as a way of gauging customer satisfaction. These can also be used to generate reviews on your site or on other local review sites such as yelp. At the end of the survey, provide a link to create review to post on your site or other local review aggregators.
Positive reviews are like a virtual endorsement. If you have good ones, promote them on your site and through your social media. You need to give people a reason to come to your establishment over one of your competitors, positive reviews can be that reason.
No one ever wants to hear negative things about their company. Just like no ever wants to hear that their baby is ugly. But, speaking honestly, there are some ugly babies out there.
How often do you use secret shoppers or customers to spot check how your business is operating?
This isn’t a game of gotcha with your employees, it’s an opportunity to improve the way your business runs and the satisfaction of your customers. It also gives you the chance to highlight employees who are doing a great job, not just find teachable moments with employees who need coaching up.
Doing this work should holistically help you get better online reviews and more new customers. For more information on how to use digital tools to grow your business, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: BrightLocal

Small Businesses and Twitter

Recently, we featured information on how small businesses are using social media as a promotional tool. One of the takeaways was just many small businesses are using Facebook as a promotional platform. A new study has come out that shows how many SMB’s are using Twitter and their opinion of the social platform.

twitter-logo-break● Over 70% of the small businesses surveyed said it was important to have a Twitter presence, but only four in 10 were using the social platform
● Among the businesses using Twitter, nearly 70% posted at least once a day and almost three quarters said they received a positive return on the time they invested
● Over 90% of businesses using Twitter considered it their most valuable social resource
● The majority of businesses were using Twitter to connect followers with content – 74% connected with their website, 40% connected to blog and 17% connected followers to a newsletter

What This Means To You

Social media should be viewed as a connection point and a way to drive business. But it starts with a strategy. Just having a Twitter handle (or any social media existence) does not mean you are socially marketing your business. Setup up guidelines about what you are going to post, this help you extend the persona of your brand to your social presences. Determine how often you are going to post and set goals for mentions and retweets. Think of your social functions like someone who works in your establishment. They welcome people who talk through the door, they don’t ignore customers questions and are on the lookout for possibly unhappy customers. So to transfer this socially – Send a welcome message or thank you tweet for following. Check for and return direct messages and monitor your hashtags for negative information. Tomorrow, we’ll dig into the bottom line value of social marketing – engagement and interaction with your friends and followers. For more information on generating more business through social means, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: Twitter

The Travel Category is Becoming Increasingly Mobile Oriented

Memorial Day approaching means 2 things. It’s the unofficial start to summer and that Jaws will be all cable TV channels for the next few months. While Chief Brody thinks they need a bigger boat, the travel category is experiencing bigger mobile results. Travel is one of the few categories where desktop dollars are still way ahead of mobile money. New research has just been released showing just that mobile dollars are growing extremely fast and future growth is even more mobile oriented.
mobile travel● This year, the travel category is expected to hit $145 billion in revenue.
● 18% of the travel category is expected come from mobile
● In the past year, total travel dollars increased by 6%. Mobile travel categories increased by nearly 60%
● Next year, travel spending is expected to increase by another 6%.
● Mobile is expected to account for nearly 25% of all travel revenue in 2015. Year of year, mobile is expected to increase by over 40%
● By 2018, mobile travel revenue is projected to increase to nearly $65 billion

What This Means To You

No matter where your business is located, out of town visitors can mean an additional revenue stream that can come to you via mobile. Mobile devices aren’t just consumers constant companions when the are traveling for business or pleasure. In fact, mobile devices can maybe an even bigger influence while people are vacationing. That means your social reputation, online reviews and search strategy can either help draw these customers in or drive them to a competitor. Travel aps might group deal sites are other tactics to explore. For more information on reaching customers both near and far, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: eMarketer