Though it’s a bit early for holiday-season predictions, Volusion, a small to midsize business (SMB) ecommerce platform provider, has speculated that its clientele and other small businesses should expect at least a 9 percent growth in holiday sales compared to last year. The company analyzed data from its own customer base, which includes more than 40,000 SMBs with online stores.
Volusion says that its customers have had a big growth year so far, processing more than $1.75 billion between January and June of 2014. One of the big reasons for the predicted growth is the rise in mobile commerce. SMBs that use Volusion’s service showed a 23 percent gain in sales via mobile devices during Q2 of 2014. This data should convince other SMBs that have yet to embrace mobile commerce to begin offering this type of shopping to customers as soon as possible.
Volusion VP of Product Jason Woosley believes that mobile commerce shouldn’t take away from regular online shopping, though. In a recent release, Woosley said:
“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. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that mobile accounts for less than 15% of SMB ecommerce 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.”
Clay Olivier, CEO for Volusion, believes that the company’s predicted 9 percent holiday sales growth could be higher in some industries, but represents a solid, stable rise for SMBs:
“As consumers continue to flock online for their holiday shopping needs, we predict another year of record-breaking sales for SMB retailers. Although we’ve seen double-digit gains in previous years, growth of 9% in the 2014 holiday season demonstrates continued, healthy growth for smaller merchants.”
Another factor that will affect the holiday season of sales is the fact that the shopping season will be shorter this year, with only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Also, big ecommerce sites like Amazon will certainly pose a threat to smaller online shops. So this year, it will be important for those SMBs to promote sales via social media, email, in-store and other traditional advertising means. Olivier offered a couple more suggestions for SMB retailers to Multichannel Merchant:
“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. 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.”
Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ at google.com/+KimberlyMays6 or Twitter @blumoonky.