The New Year signifies a fresh start for small businesses. Independent retailers had a profitable year in 2012 with a 7.1% growth rate, according to Mastercard advisors, a 2% higher increase than bigger retail chains.
With a successful 2012 fueling small businesses into 2013, what should they expect to make this year better than last?
Constant Contact, a company that aides businesses in marketing to create and grow customer relationships, has put together a list of small business trend predictions across multiple marketing industries, including email, social media, local deals, mobile/digital storefronts, and events.
Small businesses should expect to utilize email more in 2013.
Email will remain the universally preferred method of communication among current and potential consumers for a couple of reasons. Mainly because the customer has control: they may decide to ignore it, delete it, unsubscribe from it or read and act on it.
Constant Contact predicts that in 2013 the standard “e-blast” needs to improve. If the email is sent on an erroneous schedule, is unattractive to the readers eye, or contains unimportant content to the recipient, they will decide to ignore, delete and unsubscribe.
With that being said, 2013 is the year that email upgrades. Small businesses need to utilize the technology that has been at their fingertips for quite a while. The integration of audio, video and social channels must make an appearance next year. In addition, Constant Contact adds that if email isn’t truly permission-based, it will be harder than ever to make it to the inbox.
This year small business need to get in tune with mobile searches.
With customer constantly on their mobile phones, small businesses need to make sure that they are an option on popular searches in 2013. In addition, small businesses need to have easy mobile-optimized websites so both current and future customers have accessibility to their information. If shoppers can’t find what their looking for quick and easy, they will go somewhere else.
Using events to connect with customers is a way to gain recognition.
Whether the event is online or in-person, events and community activities are going to be a high ranking way to gain extra customers this year. Customers will be able to put a face with the business which makes an instant connection. Small businesses need to be not only a staple in the community at these events, but let consumers know how much their business is appreciated.
Small Businesses will take control of local merchant deals in 2013.
This year small businesses are a little bit wiser and know that large daily deal sites are not always the way for everyone. Small businesses need to take control of their deals and tailor them to the target demographic they prefer. Constant Contact describes also mentions that social sharing and 3rd-party endorsements will make loyal customers best advocates for deals in 2013.
And last buy not least, Social Media
Small businesses need to utilize social media as a marketing tool this year. Not only is social media a daily, sometimes hourly activity, but it is a way to connect and make suggestions to customers. Constant Contact explains that small businesses should expect to see social content everywhere you turn thanks to proliferation of social media tools.
Source: Constant Contact