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BizReport : Ecommerce : March 12, 2013

Constant Contact: SMBs concerned with engagement

In the small business space every customer is valued, and that fact is underlined in a new report out from Constant Contact. Researchers surveyed SMB firms and found that customer engagement is at the top of their 2013 tech focus lists for most.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers found that small businesses are looking at the tools used to push customer engagement to determine if those tools are pushing engagement or not. Most (60%) believe online surveys are the best way to determine how deeply existing customers are engaged; just over half rely on digital reward/customer incentive programs.

"Eighty-two percent of small business owners have said their main source of new business is referrals, so it's no surprise they're taking a hard look at technologies that boost social visibility and feed the referral engine," said Joel Hughes, senior vice president, strategy and corporate development, Constant Contact. "To succeed, small business owners have the difficult task of keeping pace with a rapidly evolving technology landscape. When you consider that they now see digital loyalty, which was not even on the horizon a few years ago, as the second most effective way to engage customers, I think they're up to the challenge."

Meanwhile, looking ahead to how SMBs plan to up the engagement factor for 2013 just over half reported a growing interested in daily deals (53%) or online ads (51%) while just over one-third say they'll focus on online listings (38%) or social media ads (37%).

As for which platforms small businesses will use to attract both repeat and first time buyers, websites and blogs top the list as well as social media and video hosting sites.

Tags: Constant Contact, ecommerce trends, online advertising, online presence, SMB trends

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