This year’s holiday shopping season is expected to be the shortest since 2002, and the majority of small businesses polled by Manta said that this holiday shopping season is just as, if not more, important than last year. Manta released its Q3 Small Business Wellness Index yesterday, October 29 revealing what over 1,000 small business owners have to say about the slow Christmas Creep.
Holiday shopping and sales are crucial for small businesses, but the recent government shutdown has dampened retailers’ outlook. Only 13 percent are more optimistic about sales this year, and 50 percent predict that holiday shoppers will spend less this year because of the shutdown. Last year, small businesses were much more positive, with 50 percent going into the 2012 holiday season more optimistic than the previous year.
How SMBs will attract customers this holiday season
Half of small businesses don’t plan to change their sales strategies, even with a shorter holiday season, according to Manta’s press release. But of those who are changing tactics:
- 11 percent are starting promotions earlier
- 11 percent are leveraging social media
- 8 percent are increasing email marketing
Additionally, small business owners have zeroed in on three of the most influential drivers for shoppers: price (35 percent), customer service (24 percent) and online reviews (11 percent).
"The holidays are the most important time of the year for my business, and we’ve lowered our prices during this short holiday season to try attract more clients," said Samuel Rodriguez, co-owner of Farmington, Ark.-based Ryan’s Rest Dog Boarding and Training, in a prepared statement.