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BizReport : Research archives : December 06, 2013

Forecast: Big data to push SMBs into 2014

Big data will be the push many SMBs need in the New Year, according to predictions from Constant Contact. Here are the Top Three Predictions from Constant Contact:

by Kristina Knight

First, big data. From actual purchase data to social media insights, Constant Contact predicts that small businesses who have a handle on big data will see success in 2014. The channel will be for these SMBs to have a strategy in place to not only deal with but put data insights into action.

"Understandably, small businesses don't often have dedicated teams to leverage Big Data assets - but there will be greater attention given to how insights can be leveraged in 2014," said Jesse Harriott, chief analytics officer of Constant Contact. "Small businesses will benefit from the practical insights companies like Constant Contact pull from data, helping small businesses to see around the corners. And that will be a game-changer."

Second, look for mobile to push small business sales. Constant Contact notes about half of SMBs are already using mobile POS options.

"2014 is the year the mobile commerce becomes standard for small businesses," said Andy Miller, director of innovation at Constant Contact. "Small businesses will need to react quickly to the shift in consumer expectations, as consumers will demand mobile POS and payments in droves from businesses large and small. The good news for small businesses is that the technology driving mobile POS has come a long way in the past few years, and 'going mobile' with POS is not a behemoth task to accomplish."

Third, social will add to SMB chatter. We saw over the holiday weekend that social networks helped put customer conversations. Small businesses have been among the leaders in social media adoption, creating a place where their customers can contact them and where they can share store hours, product information and sales programs. With more social networks opening and giving SMBs additional options, Miller suggests social could lead the way for SMB revenue.

"Earlier this year, we saw a rise in visual social media platforms like YouTube and Pinterest coming in just behind the big three in adoption growth among small businesses," said Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media at Constant Contact. "In 2014, a picture truly will be worth a thousand words as small businesses increase their adoption of visual-based social networks like Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Slideshare."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: 2014 predictions, Constant Contact, small business trends, SMB predictions, SMB trends

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