The ‘official’ start of the holiday shopping season is almost upon us as the busy Thanksgiving; Black Friday; Cyber Monday weekend (also known as the Cyber 5 weekend) is only hours away.
A new survey commissioned by parcel carrier Sendle finds that small business owners are optimistic about this year’s holiday season kick-off shopping weekend.
248 small businesses were asked about their expectations over the Cyber 5 shopping weekend, and 55% believed sales would be higher than last year.
Only a small group (4%) expected sales to be lower than last year, and 41% thought sales would stay the same.
Also a bit surprising is that despite today’s inflationary economy, 52% of small businesses said their online sales grew 25% or more in the past 12 months. A stunning 30% of respondents even stated that sales grew at least 50% over the last 12 months.
For small producers, there is also good news as 63% of small businesses using Sendle to ship locally-made products said demand for these products grew over the past year as well.
Not surprisingly, free shipping is still a key marketing strategy with over half of business owners believing it entices customers to make a purchase.
But rising shipping costs are creating a lot of headaches for small businesses to be able to continue to afford to offer free shipping to customers. 34% cited increasing costs across all expense categories as their biggest business challenge.
Small Business Owners Hopeful About 2023 Too
Looking toward 2023, Sendle’s survey also found that small business owners are hopeful about their business growth next year.
63% expect to grow sales in 2023, even as larger online companies like Amazon and Apple are warning investors about revenue shortfalls next year.
As much as rising costs are creating headaches for business owners, it still appears small online businesses are betting on growing consumer confidence to carry them through this inflationary economy.
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