Small businesses in rural areas sometimes struggle with sales in a way their urban competitors do not. But these businesses possess a secret weapon called online selling. And this weapon enables them to make sales not only across the country but around the world.
Amazon provides one of the best websites small businesses can use for online selling. And a recent report shows how helpful the site is at helping small businesses grow their online sales.
A new Amazon report ranks states with the fastest growing small businesses selling on its site. And the report identifies Mississippi as number one in this group.
But the results demonstrate another important truth too. They show the incredible potential for rural small business growth with the development of online sales.
But first those rural small business owners need access to broadband technology to make online sales feasible.
Nick Denissen, Vice President at Amazon, said the company remains thrilled about the growth in rural populations. And Denissen says selling online complements the offline sales of rural businesses. So it provides a new source of revenue.
And Dennisen says online sales allow these businesses to reach customers around the world easily too. So small businesses gain a pool of customers they wouldn’t have access to without the technology.
Dennisen explains it this way.
“Research shows that increased adoption of online tools and digital services could grow annual revenues of rural small businesses by 21% over the next three years and create 360,000 jobs in rural communities. Amazon continues to invest billions of dollars to develop tools and services that help small businesses reach new customers.”
The Top States
Check out the top states for small business growth among Amazon sellers. They include:
7. North Dakota
Digital Potential of Rural Communities
A study conducted by the Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) and Amazon shows the potential of digital sales for rural small businesses too.
Increased adoption allows rural small businesses to increase their annual revenue by 21%. And the report estimates that to equal $84.5 billion.
But the report says online tools bring the highest potential impact for rural businesses with less than 100k in revenue.
Unlocking the Potential with Rural Connectivity
So fast reliable connectivity remains the biggest hurdle to rural small businesses. And the C_TEC report says 66% of rural small businesses see negative impacts from not having this.
The report also suggests training more employees to use digital tools. And this includes skills in cloud and digital marketing. Because 38% of rural small businesses report they can’t find talent with the right digital skills in their area.
Small businesses in rural America need additional technology and support. Because it allows them to start, scale and compete locally, nationally and globally.