The Digital Transformation of Small Businesses (SMBs)
In 2018, nearly 280 million people, or 85% of the U.S.population, are expected to go online at least once a month. Of those, 81% will browse, research or compare products digitally and 70% will use the internet to actually make a purchase. As a result, cross-channel buying is becoming increasingly common – eMarketer estimates that 25% of purchases started online are completed in-store, and 25% of purchases started in-store are completed online. Given these data points, it’s not surprising to see that in 2017, payments made using cards overtook cash globally: $23.3 trillion versus $20.4 trillion.
In response to these evolving consumer practices,commerce itself is undergoing a profound transformation, with businesses looking at digital solutions to improve sales, acquire new customers, and reduce costs. This presents particular opportunities for small businesses (SMBs), the 29.6 million firms which make up the vast majority of American enterprise.
In order to win prospective and existing customers, it’s important for SMBs to have a digital presence during the discovery and evaluation stages of the customer shopping journey.
- Over 80% of consumers surveyed say they are motivated to shop at a business if they have an easy to use website.
- 52% of consumers surveyed search online and/or check the business website before visiting a new business.
- Over 60% prefer to be contacted through a digital channel, such as e-mail, website banners, or business’s website.
These behaviors and preferences highlight an opportunity, as currently less than half of SMBs conduct business online.
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