Small business owners are expecting a rise in holiday sales this year and about 40 percent of them are expecting the majority to come from online sales. The National Retail Federation is predicting a modest increase in holiday sales of about 4.1 percent. Meanwhile, small business owners surveyed said they were more optimistic about the upcoming holiday season than they were at this time last year.
“The holiday season can bring both immense pressure and great rewards to local small business owners, so this is the most critical time for them to leverage online tools and vast expertise of other business owner,” said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta, an online community dedicated to small business.
Of the owners surveyed, 50 percent expect customers to come directly into their stores, while 41 percent anticipate sales to come via online orders. Many small businesses are running online stores via Etsy and other online storefronts. Others are focusing on social media sites such as Facebook to drive traffic.
While this year shows a marked increase in online marketing, many small business owners are not embracing certain forms of promotion, namely Groupon and other “daily deal” types of sites. Many owners have expressed displeasure with these types of deals and felt it did not bring repeat business. Other survey results show about 10 percent will hire part-time employees for holiday season; about 26 will advertise via websites and social media; and, about 42 percent of small businesses project to finish the year in the black.