Just 23 Percent of Small Businesses Expect Increased Sales This Holiday

Small businesses are anticipating slow holiday 2016 sales this holiday shopping season but are optimistic about 2017 results.

The holiday cheer seems to be missing for small businesses.

Small Businesses Are Anticipating Slow Holiday 2016 Sales

A new survey reveals only 23 percent of small businesses are expecting an increase in sales this holiday season. That’s down 29 percent a year ago.

Businesses are Optimistic Overall

On a positive note however, Capital One’s latest Spark Business Barometer, has found despite the drop in sales expectations, the overall small business sentiment seems to be improving.

Forty-nine percent of business owners reported “good” or “excellent” business conditions in their area heading into 2017. That’s an increase of eight points compared to the first half of 2016.

“It is encouraging to see many businesses improving their outlook about the future, after a brief dip in confidence earlier this year. While concerns related to costs and regulations still exist, we are glad to see that optimism is on the rise,” said Buck Stinson, Head of Small Business Card at Capital One (NYSE:COF).

Challenges and Missed Opportunities for Small Businesses

Although their future outlook is generally optimistic, small businesses are not keen on increasing their headcounts. The report says only 23 percent of small business owners are planning to hire new employees in the next six months.

What’s more alarming is small businesses’ reluctance in leveraging their marketing and ecommerce opportunities. According to the report findings, only 56 percent of small businesses say they have a company website, and just 53 percent of those websites are optimized for mobile. That’s a cause of concern because 60 percent of global consumers use their mobile devices as their primary or exclusive Internet source.

To compete with the bigger players and attract more customers, businesses have to create a growth strategy. And that strategy has to take ecommerce and mobile into consideration.

For the study, ORC International interviewed a nationwide sample of 400 small businesses in the U.S. on behalf of Capital One.

Commute Photo via Shutterstock

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Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

One Reaction
  1. I agree that SMBs need to get serious with their websites. That doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive or fancy, but it needs to look clean & professional while doing what your customers need it to do (whether that’s place orders, show them the menu or just give them an address & business hours).