How technology transformed a foot traffic holiday


It seems like a long-standing tradition, but Small Business Saturday wasn’t formally established until 2010. That’s when American Express registered the trademark and began its Shop Small marketing initiative. During this short span, we’ve witnessed a rapid evolution of the initiative due to the role technology plays in helping retail businesses reach customers.

In its first iteration, Small Business Saturday encouraged consumers to patronize small and local brick-and-mortar businesses. Since then, small businesses have really embraced innovations to streamline operations, reach consumers, and improve customer experience. The brick-and-mortar aspect of Small Business Saturday has become less and less important, shifting focus to customer engagement through technology.

Some examples of technology used by small businesses to enhance customer engagement are:

— Marketing Automation: Automation tools can help small businesses segment leads and develop customized campaigns to reach each group with the information they seek.

— Social Media: Small businesses share creative and purposeful content across social media channels to engage consumers and reach customers.

— Targeted Advertising: With technology, targeted advertising can ensure that resources are being used wisely to reach a target audience.

More recently, small retail businesses are turning to generative artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their customer engagement. Examples include dynamic outreach, guided discovery, and interactive chat. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1 in 4 small businesses already use AI, and those who do report high satisfaction and improved performance, primarily in marketing and communications to reach customers.

AI technology is especially important for small retail businesses given the workforce shortage in Florida and across the nation. Small-business owners can create efficiencies and improve customer service despite unfilled jobs with AI.

Though technology is critical for small business success this holiday season, the fear of regulation weighs heavily on the minds of business owners. The U.S. Chamber warns that roughly half of small-business owners are concerned about tech regulations harming their businesses and having to comply with increased costs and litigation stemming from out-of-state regulation. In addition, 7 out of 10 small-business owners agree that their businesses would struggle to survive without access to technology platforms.

“Technology plays an integral role in helping small businesses thrive,” said Dr. Edward Longe, Director of the Center for Tech and Innovation at The James Madison Institute, a free market think tank based in Tallahassee. “It’s important that any policies we implement on the state or federal level are designed to encourage innovation and support the adaptation of technology. Diminishing the value of technology through regulation would significantly harm small businesses, the backbone of our economy.”

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 25. According to the Florida Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend $875 on average on gifts, decorations, food and other key seasonal items this year. For retail stores, holiday sales represent roughly one-fifth of annual sales, making this season critical to a retail business’s bottom line.

Post Views: 0


Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top