To make more sales, use more technology. This is the simple approach small businesses plan to take in 2015, according to the 2014 AT&T Small Business Holiday Survey. Small companies are going to upgrade their websites, emphasize security, use more mobile devices, and make sure they keep downtime in check. By taking these steps, they plan to outpace the competition by making it easier for customers to buy from them.
Read about their plans and how your business may be able to boost sales:
Fifty-four percent of business owners recently polled in the holiday survey plan to improve their websites. To encourage sales on your site, showcase top-selling items with quick-loading photos and make it easy for site visitors to learn about your other products via detailed descriptions. Site visitors should be able to easily move through your site, from research to purchase without any delays, so review your site as if you were a customer to identify areas of slow down. Blogs, pictures, videos, and other site features that provide detail about your products or services will keep visitors on your site longer and likely increase the amount they spend.
Forty-seven percent of small business owners in the AT&T survey report that they plan to invest in better IT security in the near term. The security of online shopping is top of mind for many shoppers. High profile data breaches have raised awareness and concern about how companies protect identity and financial data. To encourage purchases, make security a priority and demonstrate your commitment to security on your website. Make your commitment clear by showcasing your SSL security seal, using secure website hosting, and featuring a trust seal on your site.
Better smartphones and tablets
Forty-four percent of business owners plan to prioritize use of smartphones and tablets in their companies this year. Smartphones and tablets are front and center in small business sales. Salespeople and delivery teams rely on these tools to check inventory on the road, find delivery sites without delay, and stay in touch with the home base at all times. Retailers are using smartphones and tablets to complete sales using mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems or to help customers find the products they are looking for. Mobile forms, which let you tap into standardized forms for everything from work orders to updated pricing and parts sheets, help your team close sales wherever they are.
Better Internet connection
Four in 10 small business owners plan to upgrade their Internet connection. With a reliable and speedy Internet connection, your team can work without delays. Quick access to order and inventory information can help to boost sales when you are working directly with customers. At other times, a connection you can count on helps you and your team locate and process the information you need to stay a step ahead. As downtime is reduced, productivity and customer satisfaction rise, taking sales with them.
Improved tech support
Technology issues cause downtime and a diminished ability to serve customers and close sales. Anything from a PC problem to a website glitch can impair your company’s ability to close the sales that are so important to your livelihood. Having a reliable, knowledgeable technology resource in place can help you avoid tech problems and associated downtime. Consider having a resource with availability on nights and weekends, since tech problems do not contain themselves to office hours. More than one-third of small companies plan on securing improved tech support in the coming year.