Holidays are important to small businesses because consumers spend a lot during festive seasons.
But a new survey by AT&T of small business owners is showing that customers are changing their buying habits, and that they need to change the way that they reach out and connect with their customers during the festive buying season.
Consumers’ Buying Habits Are Changing
No doubt, much of that change can be attributed to the declining economy, as well as the spread of mobile technologies.
According to the report, for example, 67-percent consumers are starting to focus more on the total cost of purchase than just price at face value; 42-percent are also focusing more on quality.
Small Businesses Are Adapting Too
Small business owners concede that they need to adapt to such changing consumer trends.
Improving their core business remains the main focus: 42-percent of small businesses will be focusing on providing better customer service, while 22-percent will look at improving their product selection to better cater to the needs of consumers.
Marketing also takes on a bigger role: 26-percent looking at introducing special offers and 22-percent spending on online advertising as part of their year-end strategy.
Small Businesses Increasingly Looking At Mobile Marketing
But probably the biggest news is the recognition by small businesses that they need to reach their customers via their mobile phones. The implication is clear – smartphones are changing the way shoppers shop:
– 60-percent of smartphone users use their phones to find websites,
– 52-percent locate a business with their smartphone,
– 31-percent are even using mobile phones to scan barcodes to compare prices!
In response, small businesses are gearing up towards addressing these trends. 23-percent have mobile-ready websites, 20-percent use SMS to reach customers and 14-percent even employ mobile apps. However, there is room to improve: only 9 percent use location-based services.