It’s the season that can make a small business, especially if you’re a consumer-facing company.
According to GoDaddy’s new survey of 1,000 consumers and 1,000 small businesses, the two don’t often align when it comes to what’s important. That’s particularly true when it comes to digital features, and even more the case when it comes to millennials and Generation Z.
Your small biz could be missing out on online sales opportunities if you don’t pay attention to what consumers want. This survey’s results show what they look for — and that a lot of small businesses aren’t doing those things.
Here are five digital moves your small business should be making:
1. Have a website
Big surprise that a GoDaddy survey found that businesses should have websites, but surprisingly, 24% of surveyed businesses don’t have one. There may be some Luddite holdouts in there, but the rise of social media and its free platforms have likely made websites seem optional. They may be less necessary than they used to be, but 89% of consumers still say they’re important
2. Have an online store on your website
Social media platforms and sites like Etsy have shops (more on those in a minute), but the majority of millennials and Gen Z members (61% and 55%, respectively) consider an online store on a business website very important.
3. Use social media to sell, not just promote
80% of Gen Z consumers surveyed said it’s very important for small businesses to have storefronts linked to social media pages so they can click and buy then and there. While small businesses generally do have social media pages, many of them are using them for brand awareness only, with only 25% selling physical products and even fewer (19%) selling digital products through those platforms.
4. Tell your story
When it comes to small businesses, consumers want to know that they’re dealing with real people. 65% want to know your story, and in fact, say they’re more likely to purchase from you if you have a story on your website and/or social media. The small businesses surveyed mostly do that, but 20% aren’t sharing any story on social media. It doesn’t have to be putting your personal life out there, but you can answer questions like: Why do you sell what you sell? How long have you been doing it? Why is your product great?
5. Offer a new follower discount
These discounts, usually a one-time 10% or 15% code when a potential customer signs up for a newsletter or text subscription, have become extremely common. Some throw in a gift with purchase or offer free shipping (which, for the record, 89% of consumers want all of the time) on their first purchase. Whatever the deal, 43% of millennials have followed a brand on social media to get a discount. 47% of small businesses offer no such deals.
The biggest takeaway here? Young people shop using social media, and social media platforms like TikTok — where you can tell stories, show off items and offer discounts — are becoming more important to small business sales than websites (though websites still give businesses a sense of legitimacy).
More to the point, you should go to where your potential customers are, because that’s where they’re spending money.
Knowledge is power!
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