Raleigh-based Netsertive, a marketing technology company, found some surprising results in its 2017 Holiday Trends report. Retailers say they are learning to co-exist with Ecommerce sites, but many small and local retailers are missing out on leveraging brand support.

So say the findings of its 2017 Small Business Holiday Trends Report. Netsertive surveyed more than 500 small and local businesses across the United States to understand how they are preparing for this year’s holiday season and using modern marketing strategies to drive high-intent traffic to their digital (website) and physical (brick-and-mortar) locations.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Amazon isn’t the enemy: Of small and local retailers surveyed, almost 70 percent don’t believe that Amazon will impact their holiday sales. Retailers are learning to co-exist with ecommerce players and even partner with them for a variety of services including advertising, selling and fulfillment.
  • Retailers are preparing for on-the-go shoppers: Almost 60 percent of survey respondents confirmed that their websites are optimized for mobile, which is crucial for keeping customers engaged with your website. Google reports that 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site with which they struggled, and 40 percent will opt for a competitor’s site following a bad experience. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is a free tool businesses can leverage to see if their websites are mobile-optimized.
  • Local businesses are failing to leverage brand support: 60 percent of small and local retailers are not using marketing assets from their brand partners, which means they are missing out on an opportunity to win business with their brand’s content and promotions. Most brands set aside co-op marketing dollars in their marketing budgets to support local retailer efforts, yet more than $14 billion of these funds remain unused each year.
  • Social media selling is on every retailer’s Christmas list: Over 55 percent of retailers are planning to use social media as part of their sales strategy this holiday season. It’s important for businesses to meet their customers on the channels where they spend the most time and social media definitely meets this criteria: Facebook surpassed 2 billion users this year. This explains why over 50 percent of small and local retailers surveyed plan to use Facebook advertising to get buyers in the door.

“With 90 percent of retail sales still taking place in stores, local businesses have a huge opportunity to drive online customers to brick-and-mortar locations this holiday season,” said Brendan Morrissey, CEO and co-founder of Netsertive. “Shoppers are using the Web to figure out what gifts to buy, choose brands and decide where to make a purchase. At Netsertive, we’re helping brands and their local retailers optimize their digital presence and execute compelling digital marketing campaigns at scale to reach customers along their entire path to purchase.”