Consumer survey indicates negative sentiment towards retail giants

According to new data released today by ActiveCampaign, the leader in customer experience automation (CXA), 60% of consumers indicate negative sentiment towards retail giants, rising to 69% of the generation Z and 51% of baby boomers – a huge opportunity for SMEs to gain market share. However, the data revealed that SMBs are struggling to stay top of mind with consumers, especially when many sell in multiple marketplaces and need to ensure their operations are connected. In fact, 30% of consumers said that one of their biggest barriers to buying from small businesses through Amazon is that these businesses aren’t their priority. Additionally, only 20% of people who shop on Amazon buy from the “small business” storefront, proving that marketplaces aren’t always where SMBs can thrive. Instead, small business customer experience must capitalize on touchpoints and cross-channel interactions to reach more people, engage new prospects, and retain existing customers. For B2C and B2B businesses, 1:1 experiences at scale are the SMB differentiator and key to moving forward this holiday season.

Given this negative sentiment towards the biggest players in retail, it makes sense that 84% of consumers plan to shop small during the holidays. However, improving the small business customer experience should be the goal, not just a temporary boost in sales due to the holidays. Although consumers indicated that they planned to support SMEs, they also noted that inflation was impacting their ability to do so. In fact, 88% said higher prices are one of their top three barriers to doing so, with 69% selecting it as their top barrier. To end this year strong and continue to grow, entrepreneurs say CX is their goal to build long-term loyalty.

Additional results from ActiveCampaign’s Retail Sentiment report

  • SMBs should target Gen Z and Millennials for holiday shopping: 40% of Gen Z and 32% of Millennials said they prioritize buying from small businesses for holiday shopping and other special occasions, such as birthdays. However, instead of sending customers generic happy birthday emails and 10% off coupons, SMBs should try adding another layer of personalization, such as incorporating care recommendations into items. previously purchased or those in their basket. This shows that the company actually knows who this customer is.
  • Price is not always king, 1:1 relationships always win: Nearly 60% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a small business product rather than the lowest price. SMBs should keep in mind that consumers have an appetite for bespoke products, but only if the experience outweighs the convenience of retail giants.
  • Consumers are looking for small businesses to engage with: 87% of consumers have purchased at least one new small business in the past 2 years, confirming that those emerging from the pandemic have a strong chance of gaining new loyalty. To ensure businesses stay top of mind with consumers, they need to connect with new and existing customers across all channels, regardless of where they interact with them first.

Expert quotes on how SMEs can grow with CXA

“ActiveCampaign was founded to help businesses of all sizes grow, and that same mission holds true today,” said Jason VandeBoom, founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign. “We have democratized access to technology that was once reserved for larger companies. Now the playing field is level for individual entrepreneurs and medium-sized businesses. We will continue to listen to our customers’ needs and improve our technology to help even more businesses grow in the future.

“Amazon doesn’t cater to the creator market. For small, product-based, creator-built businesses, I personally don’t know of any that sell on Amazon,” said ActiveCampaign client Etchible co-founder Justine BaMaung. “In addition to our direct website, we’ve seen in-person selling really successful. When you’re just starting out, local marketplaces are a great way to get instant feedback on your product, determine your product’s suitability, and learn more about your buyers. With ActiveCampaign, I am able to take the insights I receive across all channels and create 1:1 experiences for our customers at scale. It saves us time and money and helps us continue to grow.

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