Small Business Bulletin: COVID Wave-II, Home Services & a Digital Holiday Season

In the second edition of our #SmallBusinessBulletin, we’ll be digging into how the second wave of COVID-19 is impacting small businesses, how the home services industry is faring - and lastly, what to expect during this year’s “digital-first” holiday season.

 

The second wave of COVID-19

In September, Bredin published some really interesting survey data on how small businesses are faring during the second wave of COVID, and the statistics are truly telling of small business owners concerns for the future:

  • 68% of SMBs are very concerned about a second wave of infections later this fall or winter
  • 38% expect their revenues will be down versus last year
  • 22% feel that the worst is still ahead for their business
  • 26% doubt their businesses will survive COVID-19

Small businesses need help to find new ways to drive their business and survive the pandemic - and a digital presence and online sales channels will be key for many business owners. But is this the same for all industries? Are some faring better than others? The answer is yes. 

 

The boom for demand of home services

In our last blog post, we looked at the restaurant industry which has been struggling throughout this pandemic. But there are industries that are booming and one of them is home services, such as carpenters, gardeners, handymen. With COVID-19 forcing more people to stay at home, there’s been a huge rise in the demand for home services.

However, there are some things that have changed. Localogy’s Modern Commerce Monitor (MCM) Brief took a look at the Home Services sector and found that 68% of consumers want to communicate with Home Service businesses differently i.e. text messages, online booking, online ordering, etc. And Home Service businesses are making the investment into software that allows them to do that with a mindblowing 105% increase in the use of new technology when compared to businesses in other industries. 

So, how can we replicate the success of the Home Services industry for other small business verticals? What investments should small business owners be thinking about making? And how can we help accelerate those investments with the holiday season knocking at our door? 

 

Preparing for a digital-first holiday season

One of the biggest changes in this year’s consumer spending will be during the holiday season. It’s being predicted that this will be a digital-first holiday season, and according to a survey by Criteo -  88% of consumers plan to continue purchasing gifts online and sending them to recipients. 

E-commerce and socially-distant shopping practices (such as private appointment bookings, virtual viewings and more) will be key to this holiday season. As well as using marketing channels to communicate your COVID-19 precautions, such as an FAQ on your websites or posting photos (or even video!) of hand sanitizer, staff with masks and socially-distant shopping on your social media. But do small businesses want the help of service providers? Yes! Once again Bredin research showed that 42% of small businesses want help to promote their business. So if you haven’t already, it’s crucial to truly #supportlocal this holiday season - and offer concrete actions on how small businesses can make the most of their digital presence. Need ideas & inspiration? We recently did a webinar on how to “Boost SMBs during the second COVID-19 wave”. Check out the recording here, or download our 9 things to pitch to your SMB clients this holiday season. 

P.S. Stay tuned for more #SmallBusinessBulletin posts!

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