Business trends may be putting a greater focus on online capabilities, but small business owners still have plenty of reason to utilize working capital for in-store upgrades.
According to Deloitte’s 29th annual holiday survey, consumers expect to spend the majority of their holiday budget at brick-and-mortar locations.
“In-store shopping continues to be an important part of the traditional holiday shopping experience for many consumers,” Alison Paul, vice chairman and retail sector leader at Deloitte, said in a media release. “This holiday season, respondents indicated they will spend 52 percent of their holiday budgets in brick-and-mortar stores and only 40 percent online. Furthermore, respondents expect to spend on average 35 percent of their holiday budgets in local retail stores.”
While this is great news for small business owners, competition will remain fierce, which makes it important to understand what may turn potential customers away.
For instance, 40 percent of survey respondents cited long lines as a major drawback of shopping in a physical store. Meanwhile, too much traffic and not carrying the right merchandise were cited by 26 percent and 25 percent of respondents, respectively.
These problems could be resolved with the smart use of small business working capital. By purchasing more cash registers and POS systems, expanding staff and ensuring inventory is properly stocked, owners can reduce line sizes and ensure they don’t run out of popular merchandise.
Taking advantage of higher holiday spirits
The Conference Board recently reported U.S. households plan to spend an average of $538 on gifts this holiday season, up from the previous year.
“The recent improvements in consumer confidence – along with robust job growth and declines in gas prices – have consumers approaching the holiday season in better spirits than last year,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, stated in a press release. “However, despite the improved holiday cheer, consumers will once again seek out bargains and incentives when making their purchases.”
In order to capitalize on increased consumer spending, it’s important for business owners to give shoppers a reason to choose them over other retailers.
Deloitte reported many shoppers are looking for special retailer offerings this year, such as free shipping, free returns, price matching, extended holiday hours, in-store pick-up for online orders and free layaway.
It could be worth it for businesses to invest in these and other strategies to drive consumers their way.