According to new data released today by ActiveCampaign, a leader in Customer Experience Automation (CXA), 60% of consumers indicate negative sentiment towards retail giants, jumping to 69% of Gen Z and 51% of Boomers – a huge opportunity. for SMEs to gain market share. However, the data revealed that small and medium-sized businesses struggle to stay in consumers’ minds, especially when many sell across multiple markets and need to ensure their operations are connected. In fact, 30% of consumers said that one of their biggest deterrents to small business shopping on Amazon is that those businesses aren’t the best for them. Furthermore, only 20% of people who shop on Amazon shop at the ‘small business’ storefront, proving that marketplaces are not always the place for small and medium businesses to thrive. Instead, the small business customer experience needs to capitalize on touchpoints and interactions across channels to reach more people, engage new leads, and retain existing customers. For B2C and B2B companies, 1:1 experiences at scale are the differentiator for SMBs and the key to moving forward this holiday season.
Given this negative sentiment towards the game’s biggest retail players, it makes sense that 84% of consumers plan on making small purchases over the holidays. However, improving the small business customer experience should be the focus, not just a temporary increase in sales due to the holidays. While consumers have noted that they plan to support SMEs, they have also noted that inflation affects their ability to do so. In fact, 88% said higher prices are one of their top three barriers to doing so, with 69% selecting it as their number one barrier. To end this year strong and continue to grow, entrepreneurs report that CX is their focus to earn long-term loyalty.
Additional Findings from ActiveCampaign’s Retail Sentiment Report
· SMBs should target Gen Z and millennials for holiday shopping: 40% of Gen Z and 32% of millennials said they prioritize small business purchases for their holiday shopping and other special occasions like birthdays. However, instead of sending generic customers Happy Birthday emails and 10% off coupons, SMBs should try adding another layer of personalization, such as incorporating care recommendations into previously purchased or cart items. This shows that the company really knows who this customer is.
· Price is not always queen, 1:1 relationships still win: Nearly 60% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a small business product rather than the lower price. SMBs should keep in mind that consumers have an appetite for bespoke products, but only if experience replaces the convenience of the retail giants.
· Consumers are looking for small businesses to get involved with: 87% of consumers have shopped with at least one new small business in the last 2 years, confirming that those emerging from the pandemic have a strong chance of gaining new loyalty. To ensure businesses stay on consumers’ minds, they need to connect with new and existing customers across all channels, no matter where they engage with them first.
“ActiveCampaign was founded to help businesses of all sizes grow, and that same mission continues today,” said Jason VandeBoom, founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign. “We have democratized access to technology that was previously reserved for the largest companies. Now, the playing field is level for individual entrepreneurs and mid-sized businesses. We will continue to listen to our customers’ needs and improve our technology to help even more companies grow in the future.”
“Amazon does not serve the creator market. For small businesses that are product-based and created by creators, I don’t personally know of any that sell on Amazon,” said Justine BaMaung, co-founder of etchible, an ActiveCampaign customer. “Together with our direct website, we have found that selling in person is really a success. When you’re just starting out, local markets are a great way to get instant feedback on your product, determine product suitability, and learn more about your buyers. With ActiveCampaign, I can take the information I receive across all channels and create 1:1 experiences for our customers at scale. This saves time and money and helps us continue to grow.”