The revenues for Thanksgiving week in 2017 was up by 33% from 2016. And according to SCORE, small businesses better be ready for another busy holiday shopping season in 2018.
The organization, which mentors small business owners, is bullish on the 2018 season, predicting sales will remain strong. This optimism is driven by a continuing trend toward e-commerce from data SCORE compiled.
The data is in an infographic titled, “Prepare Your Small Business for the Holiday Season.”
For small businesses, this is great news, but owners have to get ready ahead of time to address the rush. Running out inventory or not being able to serve your customers might be the last time you see them.
According to SCORE, in 2017 consumer spending was particularly heavy around Thanksgiving week. This resulted in 43% of Americans shopping or dining at independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday.
The total revenue for Small Business Saturday was $2.4 billion, which is quite high considering the event was only created in 2010. The top spot went to Cyber Monday with $6.6B, followed by Black Friday at $5B, and Thanksgiving Day at $2.9B rounding out the top three spots.
The biggest winner during this time in 2017 was e-commerce sales, which was up by 17.8%, with mobile going up by a whopping 40% over the previous year. This didn’t bode well for foot traffic in retail stores as it fell by 7.5%.
Prepare for the Holiday Season: Getting Ready for the 2018 Rush
The good news for small businesses is, they now have more ways to generate revenue. With the right strategy, a business can deliver product and services to customers around the world no matter how small they are.
SCORE has some tips to make this possible, and as expected it all starts by beefing up the digital presence.
As mentioned earlier, mobile commerce was up by an impressive 40% in 2017. SCORE says you have to make sure your mobile site is optimized with quick load times.
With conversion rates falling 20% for every second a mobile page load time is delayed; the adage time is money truly applies here.
Sites which load within 5 seconds have 25% higher ad visibility, 35% lower bounce rate, and 70% longer user sessions.
The next tip is to ask for reviews before the holiday season starts. With 96% of shoppers reading reviews to make up their mind, this will serve you well long after the holiday season is over.
The last two tips are to start offering free shipping and gift cards. These are ways to get your customers to buy more of the products you sell with valuable incentives.
Take a look at the SCORE infographic below.