With widespread deficiencies in their digital presence as revealed by SMB DigitalScape Q2-2012 findings, small businesses are likely relinquishing the market opportunities this holiday season – a time when mobile and online shopping is expected to rise. Additionally, some surveys divulge interesting motivations and patterns of mobile and online shoppers. Consumers may use the mobile to shop when they are relaxed on a couch or a bed, distracted at work, bored in a meeting, and to kill time while waiting. Off-line buying decisions are postponed to be executed online and 35 % consumers confessed to show-rooming in a study. Data from Google shows that 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly. Such findings strongly affirm the increasing shift towards online shopping.
Industry observer and former President of BIA/Kelsey, Neal Polachek suggests that in case it is too late this season, SMBs should make overhauling their online presence a New Year resolution for 2013 to get ready for the next. Ramon Ray, in his recent blog titled 7 Things Your Business Can Do To Boost Sales Next Holiday Season, succinctly sums up his advice to small and medium businesses based on SMB DigitalScapefindings:
- Include a street address in your web site
- Include a map and directions on your web site
- Include a phone number on your web site
- Include an email address or form on your web site
- Include links to your Facebook and Twitter profiles
- The more information you have on your web site about your product/service, the better
- The speed of your web site matters
Instead of making amendments to an existing presence that is inadequate from both user and search engine perspective, it would be easier to freshly create a robust presence. 98% of them do not have a mobile presence; most of them have slow loading sites, have no video on the site, have no social media presence and so forth. Small business providers should consider New Year Resolution packages to address the deficiencies. An example is presented in the table below:
Further, Neal also advises that small business owners risk unsettlement by big box retailers like Costco and online retailers like Amazon, if they do not enhance or upgrade their online presence.