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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Stay on top of shopping trends this holiday season
Tips for shoppers and small business owners
 
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013
by StatePoint

November is here, which means whether you’re ready or not, the holiday shopping season is upon us.

Whether you’re a consumer or a small business owner, holiday shopping is always a hot topic. Staying on top of new shopping trends is critical for your bottom line – from finding better deals as a shopper to understanding, as an entrepreneur, how to keep your business current with what’s popular.

So what can you expect this shopping season? A recent survey conducted on behalf of Deluxe Corp., a provider of marketing services and business products for small businesses, sheds light on new trends to watch out for this year:

Starting early

“Black Friday,” the major shopping event that takes place annually on the day after Thanksgiving, continues to be a cultural phenomenon – so much so that many sales will begin Thanksgiving Day.

Worried about crowds? So are lots of other shoppers evidently, as they have already begun shopping. Forty-two percent of consumers get holiday shopping done earlier in November, and women are even more likely to be early birds.

Quick and convenient

Online shopping is gaining in popularity, and with good reason – the expectation of quick and convenient shopping. Many consumers will use search engines to help find the perfect gifts for everyone one their list.

However, it’s no surprise that half of all respondents say they don’t go past the first two pages of search results.

 “All the data that we see sends an undeniably clear signal to business owners that they need to be found online,” says Tim Carroll, vice president of small business engagement at Deluxe.

For small businesses looking to drive shoppers to their websites over the holidays, having an effective Search Engine Optimization strategy is an important component of a successful holiday marketing plan.

For tips on how to make your online content more SEO-friendly, conduct an online search for “Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide” for a free download or consider consulting with a marketing service firm for more assistance.

Going local

With a whole world of shopping available at consumers’ fingertips and with big box discount chains a top choice for in-person holiday shopping, the expectation would be that small businesses are suffering.

However, consumers are not neglecting boutiques and small businesses for a variety of reasons ranging from great prices to unique merchandise. In fact, 35 percent of people claim they will prefer to shop at small businesses this year for their holiday shopping, an 8 percent increase from last year, and a vast majority of respondents agreed it’s important to support local businesses.

Holiday cards

Snail mail or email? A majority of people are traditionalists, still preferring to receive a card in the mail. But those who make at least six figures are more likely than others to prefer an online card. So choose your holiday greetings accordingly.

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