Small Businesses Plan to Tap Customer Data for Holidays

Over the last several years, companies of all sizes have been given a greater opportunity to harvest customer data and put themselves in a better position to become successful in terms of finding out what their most regular shoppers prefer. That issue may be especially important to small businesses during the holiday shopping season in particular.

Today, nearly 4 out of 5 small business owners say their companies use at least some sort of analytics to examine trends among shoppers and make smarter business decisions, according to a new survey from Constant Contact. Meanwhile, close to 3 in 4 also believe that this kind of information can be used to help a company grow. That’s why so many are now turning to this kind of analytics for the holiday shopping season.

In all, about two-thirds of independent companies use internal data to determine what they’re going to promote most heavily at this time of year, the report said. In addition, 52 percent and 51 percent, respectively, say that this data also shows them where and when to start their marketing efforts.

How exactly do they do it?
There are many ways in which companies might harness customer information to make these decisions, and the most popular – used by 83 percent of respondents – is email marketing reports, the report said. A somewhat distant second was the use of analytics from their websites (64 percent), well ahead of social media data (52 percent). Other information such as sales trends, current customer data, and something as simple as examining receipts were also relied on by slightly less than 50 percent apiece.

“The fact that so many small businesses use reporting and analytics is promising, as the better they know their customers the better they can target their marketing and vie with bigger competitors,” said Christopher Litster, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Constant Contact. “Big Data insights can also be quite helpful but because small businesses lack the necessary volume to generate those insights, the responsibility lies with big companies serving them to make that kind of data available and easy to use.”

Companies that want to position themselves for more success going forward might also want to consider the benefits of seeking out more affordable small business insurance. For instance, cutting costs for errors and omissions insurance could save thousands, which could then be devoted toward investing in broader use of customer data to spur additional growth.