Canadians consumers are more likely to do business with small businesses if they can easily do so online, a new TD Canada Trust survey concludes. Consumers want to interact with small businesses through user-friendly websites with eCommerce capabilities, backed by social engagement.
It’s clear that Canadians want to support small businesses, but they’re not willing to sacrifice the convenience of online options to do so. Their demands are reasonable, however, leaving no reason why small businesses can’t provide enough online features to win their dollars. Small-medium businesses could significantly increase revenue if they utilized the Internet more effectively.
What Canadian Consumers Want
- 70% of Canadians say it’s important to connect with small businesses online
- 83% say easy website navigation increases the chance of them doing business with a small business
- 71% want to find small businesses in search results
- 65% look for the ability to make payments or shop online
These basic website options are accompanied by what has become standard in social engagement expectations. TD cites additional research indicating that Canadians expect to be engaged on social media.
- 42% of Canadian consumers stay connected to small businesses by “liking” their Facebook business page
- 31% post comments about businesses they like on social media
- 21% share customer service issues and complaints via social media
“Entrepreneurs who have not yet invested in online and social media capabilities could miss the opportunity to connect with potential customers and grow their business,” said Dan Demers, Vice President, TD Canada Trust. “Many small business owners have limited time and resources, but an investment in technology could really help take their business to the next level by attracting the online consumer. To help juggle multiple customer touch-points, small business owners might consider engaging a social media expert to help strategize and manage their online presence.”
Don’t let the word “expert” scare you. There are many Marketing Assistants and Community Managers who can affordably manage the online presence of small businesses without breaking the bank. You can also hire someone with demonstrated expertise remotely, either full-time or part-time, for huge savings. For example, I provide as little as 25 hours of these services per month to small businesses and organizations in North America by contract. They’re hiring me personally, so I’m as involved with the company as any other employee. The important thing to keep in mind is this additional staff won’t cost you money, they’ll make you money.
These 2013 statistics reflect the results of other surveys, all of which indicate a growing demand that businesses be available to serve them online. Canadians aren’t asking small businesses to offer all the bells and whistles of a big box store, they’re simply asking you to have a basic, functional online presence. The unfortunate reality is if you’re not there to serve them, someone else will.
What’s stopping you from serving Canadians online? Please share your comments below.
Editor’s note: Career opportunities for our writer, Melody McKinnon, should go directly to her. Please contact her through our About our Writer page. Thank you!
TD Canada Trust
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