Prediction: 9% Holiday Sales Growth for SMBs
Small and medium-sized businesses should be getting their websites prepared to handle even more traffic and conversions this holiday season, as a new prediction from Volusion forecasts that online sales during 2014's holiday season will grow 9 percent when compared to 2013 for the SMB market.
This prediction is based on data from Volusion’s base of 40,000 online storeowners, who processed more than $1.75 billion during the first six months of 2014. The data also suggests that mobile will be a big driver of conversions this holiday season, as Volusion merchants saw a 23 percent gain in mobile sales in the second quarter of 2014. This means that SMB retailers should be preparing their sites not only for an increase in traffic, but also for mobile shoppers.
“The rapid growth of mobile sales for our SMB clients is telling of a larger industry trend around the importance of mobile for online retail,” said Jason Woosley, VP of product at Volusion, Inc. “One thing to keep in mind, however, is that mobile accounts for less than 15 percent of SMB e-commerce sales, with the overwhelming majority of purchases still coming from desktop devices, so retailers should focus on their overall brand and user experience to make the most of the 2014 season.”
It is important to note that based on performance from the first half of 2014, some industries are expected to exceed the 9 percent growth prediction. The Arts & Crafts industry, for instance, experienced 23 percent growth from January to June 2014, while Home & Garden retailers saw 21 percent growth during the same time period. Lastly, Volusion notes that in order to compete with the big-box retailers this holiday season, SMBs should begin taking advantage of marketing opportunities early, including email, social media and loyalty programs. This will enable merchants to reach early bird shoppers before the big holiday rush hits.
“With more dollars moving online for the holidays, smaller retailers will need to find new and innovative ways to keep up with the largest names in the market,” Clay Olivier, CEO, Volusion, Inc. “By planning out their major sales and promotions now, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, SMBs can work to take a bite out of Amazon’s market share during these critical selling months.”