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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 29, 2013

Will shorter holiday season harm small businesses?

Thanksgiving falls late in the US this year, and that means a shorter holiday shopping period. While some experts believe more shoppers will begin buying gifts as soon as Halloween is over, Black Friday (November 29) is still the big kick-off to holiday promotions. Small businesses (SMBs) are taking note and some are making changes to how they'll run holiday promotions.

by Kristina Knight

New data out from Manta shows some SMBs are changing their outlook this holiday season. About 11% say they'll start holiday sales earlier and increase email messaging (8%).

According to the Manta SMB Wellness Index :
• 22% say efforts like Small Business Saturday help their business
• 20% believe mcommerce will increase in 2013 while 13% believe mobile will push in-store purchases
• 50% say they'll stick with current strategies over the 2013 holidays

"We're seeing the astounding effects of the continued shift to online holiday shopping - especially from mobile devices - to the small business community," said Kristy Campbell, director of marketing at Manta. "It's encouraging to see the business owners in our community gaining an understanding about how their online actions impact their business - from their online presence on sites like Manta, to the impact of online reviews, to selling goods, and running promotions online. With the changing demographics and mobile habits of Millennials coming to the forefront, these trends will continue to accelerate and gain importance."

Meanwhile, Manta reminds SMBs to focus on customer service, engaging content and to really think local over the holiday season by targeting content and engaging through social media.

" Create engaging content mapped to a strategic timeline. Make the tone of your emails and social media posts reflective of the timeline for consumer shopping behaviors. For example, develop content and begin outreach early using phrases like "Get ahead of the holiday rush!" and as you move closer to Christmas or Hanukkah, build urgency into your subject lines, Tweets and Facebook posts such as "There's still time...", "It's not too late...", etc," writes the company.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce trends, holiday 2013 ecommerce, Manta, SMB tips, SMB trends

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