Small businesses must focus their marketing on major consumer sites, particularly Google, to survive through 2021.
Small business economic activity accounts for about 44% of the United States’ gross domestic product. This critical business segment has suffered disproportionately from the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. What is the current outlook for small businesses (SMBs) as we enter the important holiday quarter?
Many experts and suppliers serving the SME market have been promoting ‘resilience’ for months. A new report from Yelp confirms this. But other data suggests that the challenges for SMBs and their marketing suppliers will continue and even increase in the coming months.
Promising signs of recovery
Yelp’s recently released Economic Average (or YEA) report focuses on opening and reopening new businesses in the restaurant and food industry in the third quarter. According to the report, the opening of new restaurants and food businesses in the third quarter could be similar to 2019 (‘pre-pandemic levels’), despite particularly difficult conditions in 2020. It’s very encouraging and says recovery is underway.
Opening and reopening of SMEs in different sectors
Yelp also identifies the “most resilient” job openings in the United States, as measured by the growth in the number of new job openings between the second and third quarters. These were North Dakota, Washington, DC, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. The states with the most activity in the third quarter were California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Washington.
Yelp data shows that businesses across all industries will reopen in September. This includes leisure groups and day centers, gyms, beauty salons, bike repairs, and home businesses. According to Yelp, financial services (banks, insurance, tax authorities) also reopened in the third quarter, as did stores.
At the same time, Yelp saw an increase in consumer demand in the third quarter in many categories as people returned to their pre-pandemic businesses ‘good and bad.
Vulnerable to security vulnerabilities
With COVID cases peaking for months in many countries, consumers were able to pay for most of the fourth quarter of their vacation online rather than in-store. Data from Adobe shows that eCommerce growth is slowing as consumers return to stores. However, store visits depend on the consumer’s perception of safety.
At this point, most Americans still don’t feel safe in shopping malls, a substitute for shopping in general, although trends may vary slightly by location. Unfortunately, we cannot expect anything significant to change before the end of the year. There are also several studies suggesting that:
• Due to economic uncertainty, people will spend less than last year
• Most of these numbers are online (except BOPIS).
Small business economic activity accounts for about 44% of the US domestic product. This critical business segment has suffered from COVID-19’s support for the economy. What are the dates of the Impressive Choice (PMI) when we enter the Major Quarterly Festival?
Since then, many experts and suppliers serving the SME market have promoted ‘resilience’. A new report from Yelp confirms this. However, other data suggest that PMI and its ongoing marketing efforts will continue to grow.
Promising signs of recovery
Yelp’s Economic Media Report (YEA) focuses on opening and opening new businesses in the restaurant and food industry in the third quarter. The confirmatory report that the opening of new restaurants and food businesses in the third quarter will cover 2019 (‘pre-pandemic levels’), despite particularly difficult conditions in 2020. It’s very encouraging and says it’s about to take over.
Opening and setting up SMEs in different contexts
Yelp also identifies the most “resilient” workforce in the United States by measuring the number of new labor enrollments between the second and third quarters. These are North Dakota, Washington, DC, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. The states with the best activity in the third quarter are California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Washington.
Data from Yelp shows that all colonizing businesses will appear in September. This includes leisure groups and asylum seekers,
According to an Alignables survey conducted in early October among consumers of more than 5,000 adults in the United States, 32% of respondents said they would spend more money on local businesses in the fourth quarter. However, the vast majority (68%) said they would spend most of their money online this year (read: Amazon and major retailers).
However, several studies by companies such as Accenture and McKinsey show that consumers are more interested in supporting small businesses and buying locally. (Attitudes and behaviors often differ.)
Mid-October data from the US Census Bureau show that 75% of SMEs have a significant (30.2%) or moderate (44.6%) negative impact of COVID. In an SME survey conducted by Alignable in the third quarter, it was found that 42% of small business owners expect their income [in the fourth quarter] to be less than what they need to stay in the market.
This means that a large number of SMEs may close their doors early in the fourth quarter or simply decide to close them in 2021.
What SMEs need to do now to meet the challenge for the fourth quarter
During this holiday, the internet will be the starting point for most consumer stores, both online and offline (BOPIS). This means that a fully optimized online presence is critical. SMEs cannot count on the same number of visitors in stores as last year.
It’s too late to rebuild websites for the 2020 holiday season, but SMEs can still claim and optimize profiles on some of the best sites to maximize their online visibility:
• Google My Business (GMB)
• Bing sites
• Facebook / Instagram
Yelp (and TripAdvisor, if applicable)
All of these sites offer free devices for online presence. However, most companies have not yet used Nextdoor’s business magazines and promotional tools, and there are still opportunities for ‘early change’.
Google has added more transaction options to GMB, while Facebook and Instagram now offer e-commerce options for small and medium-sized businesses with retail and other features. In an ideal world, retailers have their inventory online, but if not, the best products and offers can be promoted by Google Post.
SMEs working with agencies are satisfied and are probably in a reasonable position to withstand the storm. Everyone except most small and medium-sized businesses will find this much more difficult. They should focus their efforts primarily on Google, which dominates the use of local searches.
There is evidence that a single Google strategy can be successful if there is no time or bandwidth for other channels and properties.