6 Stats that Prove the Importance of Product Videos for Ecommerce

Producing quality videos for your ecommerce site is hard, we know. Equipment is expensive, and specialists who know how to use that equipment cost even more. For that very reason, many ecommerce businesses will settle for photos and graphics just to get the job done.

These video marketing statistics show that video might just be an investment worth making. Sure, you’ll have to dig a little deeper into those pockets at first, but the results will return more than you dreamed.

Product Video Stats Marketers Need to Know

1. Video is the #1 content type used by marketers to sell products and services.

In our Not Another State of Marketing Report, marketers surveyed said that video is the top content type being produced in their content marketing programs, passing blog posts for the first time ever. 

2. More than half of marketers invest in some sort of product-related video.

Also in the HubSpot report noted above, we found that nearly one quarter of marketers invested in product promotion videos, while nearly one fifth invested in product demos.  

3. 73% more visitors who watch product videos will make a purchase. 

Did you know that your products are more likely to sell if you create videos for them? There are quite a few reasons for this, which we’ll cover in the next points. The most important thing to note, however, is simply that videos for your products do prompt more purchases. That’s really the biggest and most important statistic you need.

4. 92% of marketers who use video say it's an important part of their marketing strategy — up from 78% in 2015.

According to the late-2019 Wyzowl Survey that polled marketers about their video tactics, the number above was up from 78% in 2015. With a stat like this, there's almost no question that marketers are finding video valuable and worth their investment.

5. 71% of consumers prefer video over other marketing content.

When consumers feel like they understand the products you sell, they’re more likely to take a chance on spending their money. Video clears up a lot of that confusion. Isn’t that what your marketing is all about, anyway? Answering questions with quality content? 

6. 87% of Gen Z prefers branded videos or ads that show someone talking about a product.

Gen Z is one of the most digitally connected, and most budget-conscious, generations out there. And, as they reach full purchasing potential, you'll want to keep their buyer's journey behavior in mind.

As people in the age group research products, they'll look for video-based ads, demos, tutorials, unboxings, or video reviews from influencers in order to see how well the product works and what it looks like in real life.

7. 55% of consumers use videos for purchase decisions.

While Gen Z most heavily relies on videos to research products, other age groups aren't that different. More than half of people in all age groups use video to make a purchasing decision, according to 2019 data from Google.

A man looks at a list on his phone. “I’m not a list guy. I have it in my brain. I’ll watch the video in the plumbing or electrical aisle to make sure I’ve got everything I need.” 55% of shoppers say they use online video while actually shopping in-store.

Image Source

Ultimately, authentic videos can lead to a greater sense of trust. By providing product videos, you give buyers quality information that doesn’t hide behind good angles and lighting. They understand the products they’re ordering and are happier with their purchases. With every great transaction, you build more and more trust.

Video Stat Knowledge Check

Think you know your video stats? Test yourself with the interactive quiz below to see how well you soaked in the details above. Try not to peak as you answer each question:

 

Creating an Engaging Product Video

A consumer who trusts your business is worth the investment you’ll make in product video production, isn’t it?

If the stats above have intrigued you, and your ready to invest in your first product video, consider what you'd like to try out first. Here are a few examples of product video formats:

  • Demos/Tutorials: These videos walk through how the product or service works so a consumer can see how it functions in a real-world setting.
  • Influencer Marketing Videos: If you don't have the time to produce product videos, but do have some budget to work with, you could consider hiring a macro or micro influencer to post a video on their networks where they talk about or promote your product.
  • Ads or Video Promotions: These videos are often shorter than tutorials. They merely highlight the product or service and all of it's great features, but don't necessarily need to go into full detail about how it works.
  • User-Generated Content: If you have happy customers that are using your product or service, encourage them to film a video review or unboxing that you can then share publicly over social media or on your website. When others see a real person talking about success they had with your brand, they might be more willing to trust your offerings.

To learn more about video marketing, check out this handy ultimate guide

Editor's Note: This blog post was originally written in February 2016, but was updated in July 2020 for freshness and comprehensiveness.



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Blueprint for fall 2020 at MIT

How are instructors planning for remote learning in the fall? Why do on-campus students have to be on a meal plan? What will happen if there is a Covid-19 breakout in a residence hall? These and many other questions were on the minds of undergraduate students and their families at the Fall Reopening Virtual Town Hall sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and the MIT Parents Association.

Thousands of participants tuned in on July 15 as 16 members of MIT’s administration and faculty fielded crowdsourced questions from the audience, along with several from student leaders. More than 600 questions were submitted during the 75-minute event, which was moderated by Matthew Bauer, senior director of communications in the Division of Student Life.

The forum fleshed out the plans described in the July 7 fall decision letter to the community from President L. Rafael Reif. Panelists also offered a window into how MIT arrived at its decisions and the core principles that were considered, such as protecting the community’s health, enabling students to stay on track to their degrees, and, as a matter of equity, giving every student the opportunity to spend at least one semester on campus.

Living on campus

Several panelists addressed what life will be like in the residences. Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson noted that several issues related to policies and community expectations were still being ironed out, such as the common space usage and guest policies. Judy Robinson, senior associate dean in the Residential Education Office, explained that the goal of the policies is to ensure “students have a real clear understanding of not just what the expectations are, but the responsibility to each other to minimize the spread of the virus.”

Professor of architecture and head of house for Baker House John Fernandez fielded a question about communal gathering. “We do know that there is the need for seeking out and developing alternative ways to socialize,” he said. To that end, a group of students, faculty, and staff are exploring ways to use outdoor spaces as much as possible and are developing a process to form self-organized social “pods” made up of small groups of residents in each house.

Students will play a vital role in ensuring these policies succeed, Fernandez noted — even simple gestures such as one student reminding another to wear a mask. “We can talk about compliance, and we can try to figure out ways to monitor student behavior, but what we’re most interested in is developing a new culture in which students are partnering with us and doing the right thing,” he said.

MIT is well-positioned for a potential Covid-19 breakout in the residence halls, Nelson said. There will be only one student per room, so students could effectively shelter in place, if needed. MIT Medical can provide increased testing, and there are isolation spaces available for students who test positive. “We certainly feel prepared, from full-scale breakout to a single case, and hopefully zero cases,” added Shawn Ferullo, associate medical director and chief of student health at MIT Medical.

Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart addressed one of the most upvoted topics: how the Institute is helping seniors who have signed off-campus leases but have decided to break them, to be able to live in MIT housing and access the campus. In addition to guidance about subletting, reassigning, or canceling a lease, MIT is offering a $5,000 Covid-era grant. “We knew that students and their families are facing new situations this year, situations that we couldn’t even begin to imagine,” she said. “And this is one of those situations where the additional grant that we’re providing will be able to provide families with some financial flexibility.” Barnhart suggested that students who need additional help reach out to staff in Student Support Services or Student Financial Services, who will work with them to address their concerns.

Following the town hall, the Division of Student Life launched the Student Housing Assistance Review Process (SHARP) on July 17. SHARP is designed to assist two categories of students: rising sophomores and juniors who wish to request on-campus housing during the fall 2020 semester; and students, including seniors, who are experiencing significant hardship and who believe they absolutely cannot live at home and cannot live on campus.

New ways of teaching and learning

The audience had several questions related to academics, including plans for remote instruction and experiential learning. “There’s a lot of work happening across MIT to make it a very rich remote and, for those on campus, in-person learning experience,” said Ian A. Waitz, vice chancellor for undergraduate and graduate education. He cited several examples: developing hands-on kits to send to remote students; shifting the timing of recitations to cover multiple time zones; making iPads available for teaching assistants and all undergraduates to replace “pencil and paper” work; implementing a new learning management system, called Canvas; and focusing on balancing synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning.

In a similar vein, much effort has gone into ensuring that students can access hands-on learning experiences, explained Associate Dean of Engineering Peko Hosoi. “There are tremendous resources online now under Project Manus to help guide the students through making processes, understanding what tools are accessible, what kinds of tools can you use where, and how to get in touch with mentors.”

Fernandez reminded viewers that all undergraduates are eligible to pursue research, teaching, or service opportunities and earn a stipend of up to $1,900. “That will allow undergraduates to take full advantage of this new reality to do work, whether they’re on campus or remote, through programs such as UROP, UTOP, MISTI, PKG, Open Learning, and Sandbox. There are many people thinking about this, because it’s a very high priority for us to continue the ethos of making as part of learning.”

Welcoming MIT’s newest class

Several questions pertained to plans for first-year students, who will begin their MIT careers from home this fall. Concerns about forming connections with classmates, collaborating on schoolwork, and becoming part of the MIT community were addressed by Kate Weishaar ’18, project coordinator in the first-year experience program. “As anyone will tell you, the best part of MIT is the people, and we’re really trying to make sure that our first-year students see that, even if it is virtual.”

This summer, the Office of the First Year is offering orientation programming throughout the summer, a Slack channel, and small-group virtual gatherings. Many programs are in the works for the fall semester, Weishaar said, including expanding a successful mentoring pilot offered last spring in 8.02 (Electricity and Magnetism). She noted that more details about fall would be provided during the First-Year Town Hall on July 21.

Senior Associate Dean for Student Support and Wellbeing David Randall reassured first-years that MIT is committed to supporting them as they acclimate. “No matter how different it’s going to be in the fall, MIT is still going to be MIT … challenging, and rigorous, and sometimes overwhelming. Our amazing faculty are very aware of the challenges that students are facing and are being responsive. But we’ve got a whole team of support resources that remain available,” including advisors, Student Support Services, and Student Mental Health and Counseling at MIT Medical. “Right now, we’re thinking about all sorts of creative ways that we can allow students to easily ask for help online,” Randall added.

Dean for Admissions Stu Schmill offered guidance to incoming students weighing whether to take a gap year: consider your motivation for taking a gap year, and keep in mind that, although this won’t be a typical year at MIT, many gap year experiences are not available. Although each student should make the choice that is best for them, he said, “we’re working very hard to make the MIT experience continue to be special, continue to be something that’s in line with MIT’s mission, ‘mind and hand.’” 

Striking the right balance

In addition to fielding specific questions, panelists had the opportunity to expand on the decision process and rationale behind MIT’s approach this year. “If you look at what’s happened over the last four months,” Barnhart said, “we have engaged across the Institute — faculty, students, staff, alumni — and we have had literally thousands of people involved. So the overall decision process is reflective of a lot of thought, it’s reflective of striking what we feel is the appropriate balance among the interests of the various stakeholders.”

MIT’s stance is intentionally conservative, Waitz said. “Our strategy is to start the fall in a way where we have a smaller number of students on campus, where they are all in our residential facilities, where we have the ability to do regular testing and really to learn what it takes to operate in the pandemic. The whole strategy is wrapped around this idea of succeeding in the fall — not being right on the edge where we may succeed or fail.”

This approach will allow MIT to adapt for the spring, whether Covid conditions improve or not. “We’ve thought a lot about this,” Barnhart said, noting that the default posture for spring is also conservative. There are two additional factors that may allow more students to return in the spring, though: new residence halls will be open by then, and MIT will have a better understanding about the disease and how to manage it within the community. However, Barnhart said, “we feel confident that if conditions do not get better, our spring plan can remain intact.”

Many of the panelists mentioned the integral role students have played on various task forces, working groups, and other teams as MIT has wrestled with difficult — and sometimes unpopular — decisions impacting every aspect of their education. Hosoi said that students have been deeply involved in housing policy discussions and, as a case in point, shared what she called a “very MIT” story.

“I was asked to take a look at ventilation in houses and probabilities of infections in different spaces. I’ve now handed that off to a team of students to do all those calculations for all of the dorms. I have to say, I teach fluid mechanics, and I have never had students more interested in ventilation than they are right now! So I think the partnership with students is really important in this.”



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Bill Hanson, a founder of MIT Leaders for Global Operations, dies at 80

Bill Hanson, an inspirational founding figure of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program and a mentor to hundreds of its alumni, died on July 15 at the age of 80.

Hanson was senior vice president for manufacturing at the Digital Equipment Corporation, where he had a front-row seat to the challenges facing U.S. manufacturing in the 1980s, and brought this vision to his role helping found and develop LGO (then Leaders for Manufacturing, or LFM) in 1988 with MIT faculty including Kent Bowen, Thomas Magnanti, and the late Don Rosenfield.

Hanson moved full-time from the Digital Equiptment Corporation to MIT in 1996 to become LFM’s first industry co-director. He later helped found what is now the William C. Hanson, Don W. Davis and Janice Klein Leadership Fund to honor Davis (LFM’s first leadership instructor) and support leadership training within LGO. He retired in 2012 to Mashpee, Massachusetts, with his wife, Bette.

“Bill was an enlightened person with unusual warmth and a great passion for life, and he was a true friend to many of us,” says Magnanti, MIT Institute Professor. “He had a remarkable impact on manufacturing and industry, but also on education, especially at MIT. He was a beacon in bringing industry to the leadership of LFM. I had the privilege of working closely with him and benefited enormously from his wisdom, insight, and unfailing enthusiasm, as well as rooting with excitement with him for the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots.”

"Bill left an indelible legacy through his support of the LGO program and its graduates and industrial partners,” says Jeff Wilke LGO ’93, CEO of Global Consumer at Amazon. “He generously modeled ethical leadership by listening carefully and helping students and alums hone their individual styles.”

As a mentor to Leaders for Global Operations students, Hanson was known for asking questions that prompted students to look within themselves. “He asked what impact I wanted to have on the world, and how I would use the many opportunities I have been given to change lives for the better,” says Christina Simpson LGO ’11, senior manager for market development at Medtronic. “Bill inspired us all to be better and do more, and he will be greatly missed.”

During her LGO admission interview, “I immediately sensed Bill’s kindness, his earnestness and his belief in people’s potential,” says venture investor Rachel Sheinbein LGO '04. “He was a wonderful mentor during my time at LGO, and it didn’t stop there. When I was making a critical career decision, he asked his famous question: Was I looking for a job, a career, or an environment? He reminded me of my own passions and encouraged me to take a risk. It was the best decision of my life, and I wouldn’t have made the leap without Bill.”

SkipStone President A-P Hurd LGO ’04 had a similar experience during what seemed like a routine conversation, when Henson paused and asked, “What’s your legacy?”

“I was taken aback. ‘What do you mean? I'm 27, I don't have a legacy.’ Bill replied, ‘Well, you've been given a lot of opportunity. You better start figuring it out, because it's not just going to happen by itself.’ To this day, that is one of the best questions anyone has ever asked me.”



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MarTech Insider Anand Thaker: Marketing Not Aimed at Building Real Relationships with Customers? Cut It.

When the country initially shut down in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, overnight many companies cut their marketing budgets and activities to zero.  Many of those dollars and organizational efforts went to helping customers and communities deal with the pandemic. And many of those efforts are still going on, and the impact of these efforts have been essential to helping people and small businesses make it through this difficult time.  And another result of these efforts is to more meaningfully connect companies with their customers and surrounding communities, which has created the opportunity for these deeper relationships to be in place long after the pandemic has run its course.

It appears that companies may be learning that traditional marketing models that are more transactional in nature might be less effective in the Post Covid-19 world where relationships may matter more.

Interview with Anand Thaker on COVID-19 Changing Marketing Strategy

And recently I had an interesting LinkedIn Live conversation with marketing technology (MarTech) industry expert Anand Thaker to get his take on how COVID may be changing how companies look at marketing, and what role technology will need to play in order for those Post Covid marketing efforts to be successful.

Below is an edited transcript of a portion of our conversation.  To hear the entire conversation click on the embedded SoundCloud player.

Small Business Trends: CRM thought leader Jesus Hoyos was recently on CRM Playaz and he made a point about how marketing automation technology previous to COVID was broken because there is not single point of communication with customers today, and the tech was built with that in mind.  And the pandemic has made the situation even worse.  What are you seeing with marketing during the pandemic, and the roll martech is playing?

Anand Thaker: Technology only magnifies who we are. If we’re bad at what we’re doing, guess what? We’re going to use the technology or misuse it and vice versa. I think what he was talking about with regards to one email address, really resonated with me because there’s another problem, especially in the B2B space, where it’s not only just one person with one email for one person, but then you also have one assumed decision maker per company. In a B2B capacity, if you had five different people at a particular company and they all downloaded your white paper or did different things to end up in your CRM database or marketing automation database, how do you rectify that? That’s one of the biggest challenges behind the scenes that people didn’t really talk about, and probably one of the main reasons that marketing operations became an incredibly thriving profession, is how do you resolve these types of things?

This is part of the reason I think we should probably start looking at databases that connect these different places. I think a lot of people have heard, especially listening in, about customer database or customer data platforms, CDPs. One of the benefits of that is you’re really trying to get a full, what we used to call the 360 view of the customer. This is the opportunity for a brand to own the customer and the customer experience starting from, again having clean data. Part of the reason we don’t have clean data is not necessarily through laziness or challenges with the experience of trying to ingest that data in from third parties, but it’s also we find a big challenge in having that data spread … I mean, we have challenges in terms of data being in the different technologies. How do we centralize that information when we actually need to do it?

This could lead to a conversation on privacy and AI. Let’s say your stack of technologies related to the customers, 18 to 30, some odd pieces of technology,  how do you even respect the customer’s wishes on their privacy, or how do you apply AI in a grander scope of things that would help you navigate what that really respects?

Small Business Trends: The foundation of how we built our customer engagement is spread out. It’s disparate. It’s kind of hard to bring it all together. It’s kind of hard to make sense of whatever the interactions are because they’re coming in from all over the place. Maybe there’s a technology problem, but let’s take the technology problem out of it. There’s still a big issue with a lot of companies, because they’re looking at things from their perspective. They’re looking at how do we get people to buy more stuff and not necessarily looking at it from the customer’s perspective.

Let’s face it. They can have the greatest technology, they can have the greatest platform, they can have all the data coming in, they can have their AI running and finding all these great insights, and if they don’t deliver those insights in a meaningful way, in a way that will be empathetic and will connect the dots to the customer, all that stuff is for naught.

Anand Thaker: Yep.

Small Business Trends: I think that’s where we are. To take it one step further. I’ve talked to a number of companies, and there are a lot of folks who just cut the spigot off when it came to doing any kind of marketing, ad campaigns, marketing campaigns, cut it off completely just because of the uncertainty in the environment. The interesting thing about that is not that they did it, because everybody was kind of scared. You’re starting to see some life coming back to that, but I’ve been having some really interesting conversations, I’m not going to say who, but there are vendors who said, “Yeah, we cut it out, and guess what? We’re doing all right. We are not going to be going back to what we were doing before. We’re not going to be spending that money the way we were spending it before.”

I have a suspicion that the few companies I talked to, they are just representative of what I think is going to be happening on the other side of the pandemic. It seems to me that there’s a movement from a lot of these companies who spent a lot of money and did a lot of this programmatic stuff. They might not be coming back to spend anywhere near what they spent on those activities before COVID-19. Are you hearing anything like that?

Anand Thaker: Yeah, absolutely. We’re seeing it on a couple of fronts. COVID shook a lot of things up. The old models don’t support a lot of those purposeful missions moving forward. Let me roll back a little bit because on the front of talking about programmatic advertising and what that means, in terms of businesses actually cutting off marketing, or just cutting out marketing or cutting out advertising, I think there’s a lot of opportunity to just do things, regardless of whether it’s the highest performing, because you’ve got to do them. You’ve got the spend, you’re going to budget. That’s what everybody else is doing. You have the fear of missing out. “Oh my gosh, if I saw it … ”

Think about it like billboards or TV ads, or let’s say Superbowl commercials. People have this fear of missing out because, “Oh man, my competitor did a Superbowl commercial, therefore we should strive to do something similar.” Well, we don’t live in that kind of world today. There’s not a limited channel of ways to engage with a customer anymore. Those things start to change. Many companies that I’ve talked to or have heard from or learn about as I hear about, they try to take one channel and think that’s the silver bullet rather than trying to diversify into a portfolio. One of the things I’ve been striving for, I’ve been working intensely with companies for the last eight, nine months now trying to navigate them through the COVID or some of those crisis situations.

One of the first things is marketing, yes or no? That’s not the right question to ask. That correct question is, is the marketing efforts or spend that you have, are they engaged in building a relationship with a customer? If it’s not part of the journey or if they’re not responsible for the entire journey back into the business operations of the company, then yeah, maybe need to consider cutting it, because it’s an expensive spend and you’re basically competing … You’re selling against yourself. You spend a dollar, someone spends 105, then you got to spend 110, then they spend more and then you have to spend more, but if your marketing spend is basically driven on developing a deeper relationship, meaning you are training your staff, frontline staff perhaps, at a retail store, on developing better experiences, or you’re working on the digital journey for how people buy, or trying to come up with different ways to help your customers make a decision, or help them, say, like in a fintech world, like you have some sort of financial services option, you’re trying to help them be better financial … financially savvy.

If you’re doing those types of things and the customer feels like you’re helping them through that, whether they buy from you or not, they become those advocates. That’s the part where you can elevate across your other competitors by sitting there and focusing on it. A lot of people say that, but they’re not talking about … They’re talking about limited to the digital spend, but there’s a lot of pieces beyond the digital ad. I think that’s what a lot of companies are doing, Brent, is they’re looking at the grand scope of things and saying, “Wow. Really, ads aren’t bringing the conversion rates we’re looking for, or perhaps aren’t giving us the awareness that we’re really hoping for,” but I think a lot of that will change over time and everyone will evolve. I’m always a believer that people and companies will evolve because either they need to, or they go away.

Small Business Trends: But the whole idea of empathy …

Anand Thaker: That’s right.

Small Business Trends: What I’ve noticed, the programmatic stuff, there is absolutely no empathy involved. That’s just pure, we know data, we know where you’ve been and we’re going to follow you and hound you wherever you go on the web. You see popups and it’s just ridiculous and it makes you not want to buy anything. There’s zero … I mean, they did a lot of work on the analytics. They did a lot of data aggregation. They’ve been looking at the insight, knowing where you’re going to go. That’s great.

Anand Thaker: Right.

Small Business Trends: Zero empathy in the actual activity and the action. I think that is driving people crazy. That’s why I think you’re seeing folks, because in the pandemic, the thing that you need most is empathy in order to show folks, like you said, that they care and that you’re creating an interaction that is based off of not just data, but it’s based off of data and delivered in an empathetic way that lets people understand that you care.

Anand Thaker: Right.

Small Business Trends: That’s where I think there’s an opportunity for a shift in some of this budget away from just pure programmatic, pure analytics, pure re-target, and to have to do a little bit more work, which requires you to really understand, not just know where you’re going or know where they’re going, but to understand why, and then to create an interaction opportunity that takes that into consideration so that you don’t spend all your time and effort and money on pure analytics and understanding without being able to deliver that understanding in an empathetic way.

Anand Thaker: I agree. The reason I tend to hesitate using empathy in some of these conversations is because we don’t define that well. I think that’s one of the problems is we don’t say what it is that we’re doing to be empathetic. For example, I mean, you’re training your frontline staff to be your team members to better serve their customers, or you’re trying to find an easier way for people to pay for their merchandise online, or you’re trying to understand how to elevate someone’s profession. I mean, I think if you’re going to use the word empathy, then you need to say exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, at least one thing that’s more specific than just saying, “Oh yeah, we’re going to be empathetic.”

That’s the kind of crap that gets all these companies in trouble is they go find a lot of these empathy consultants and then guess what they’re asking you to do too? There’s a lot of good ones out there and you know what they’re going to tell you? They’re going to say, “What are you doing that makes you empathetic or more empathetic than someone else?” Empathy is a magic word, but until you actually define what that is for your company specifically, actionable, like what those actionable steps will look like or what’s the goal look like, you’re not going to get anywhere. We’ve seen some matters come up where people are like, “Oh, well you just changed your logo and put out like a press release and you think you’re done,” and it’s not. You have to do more than that to make that magic happen.

Small Business Trends: Yeah, but here’s the thing. They have resources.

Anand Thaker: Right.

Small Business Trends: I don’t want to make light of the amount of effort and finances that it takes to identify where your customers are engaging and integrate into those channels and get that data in and analyze that data and understand that data and try to find insights that will impact at that time, at the right time. That’s a ton of work. That’s a ton of money and it takes a ton of effort, but why go through all that and then fumble when you actually go to address that person if you haven’t spent a little time, a little effort? It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split here, but it does have to have … You have to spend some time not only understanding, but then, how do we best communicate our understanding? How do we best communicate that insight so that when we do interact with somebody, they’re more likely to understand where we’re coming from and that we’re on their side and we’re trying to deliver some value for them at the time they need it? That’s all I’m saying.

Anand Thaker: Yeah. A measurable way to look at that, this is just back of the napkin kind of thing, is look at retention. How many people are you keeping as customers, if you’re in this subscription-based world? How many people are advocates of yours, like active advocates, not just liking something on one of the social media platforms? I’m talking about they are out there selling on your behalf. They’re proud to be part of your company as a result of things.

Then the third piece would be, how easy has it been to recruit? If a company is doing a great job of having empathy and it’s being well demonstrated, you’ll see people come in that want to work for you. Maybe it’s a little skewed today because COVID is going to cause a lot of shuffle in terms of talent opportunities and opportunities for jobs just period, but still, I mean, how many of the best talent is coming your way, as opposed to you having to pull them in and try to recruit them at the highest price possible because you’re struggling in some capacity? Think about it from a recruiting standpoint, an advocate standpoint and a retention standpoint. Those will give you clues about how well your empathy is working.

This article, "MarTech Insider Anand Thaker: Marketing Not Aimed at Building Real Relationships with Customers? Cut It." was first published on Small Business Trends



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MarTech Insider Anand Thaker: Marketing Not Aimed at Building Real Relationships with Customers? Cut It.

When the country initially shut down in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, overnight many companies cut their marketing budgets and activities to zero.  Many of those dollars and organizational efforts went to helping customers and communities deal with the pandemic. And many of those efforts are still going on, and the impact of these efforts have been essential to helping people and small businesses make it through this difficult time.  And another result of these efforts is to more meaningfully connect companies with their customers and surrounding communities, which has created the opportunity for these deeper relationships to be in place long after the pandemic has run its course.

It appears that companies may be learning that traditional marketing models that are more transactional in nature might be less effective in the Post Covid-19 world where relationships may matter more.

Interview with Anand Thaker on COVID-19 Changing Marketing Strategy

And recently I had an interesting LinkedIn Live conversation with marketing technology (MarTech) industry expert Anand Thaker to get his take on how COVID may be changing how companies look at marketing, and what role technology will need to play in order for those Post Covid marketing efforts to be successful.

Below is an edited transcript of a portion of our conversation.  To hear the entire conversation click on the embedded SoundCloud player.

Small Business Trends: CRM thought leader Jesus Hoyos was recently on CRM Playaz and he made a point about how marketing automation technology previous to COVID was broken because there is not single point of communication with customers today, and the tech was built with that in mind.  And the pandemic has made the situation even worse.  What are you seeing with marketing during the pandemic, and the roll martech is playing?

Anand Thaker: Technology only magnifies who we are. If we’re bad at what we’re doing, guess what? We’re going to use the technology or misuse it and vice versa. I think what he was talking about with regards to one email address, really resonated with me because there’s another problem, especially in the B2B space, where it’s not only just one person with one email for one person, but then you also have one assumed decision maker per company. In a B2B capacity, if you had five different people at a particular company and they all downloaded your white paper or did different things to end up in your CRM database or marketing automation database, how do you rectify that? That’s one of the biggest challenges behind the scenes that people didn’t really talk about, and probably one of the main reasons that marketing operations became an incredibly thriving profession, is how do you resolve these types of things?

This is part of the reason I think we should probably start looking at databases that connect these different places. I think a lot of people have heard, especially listening in, about customer database or customer data platforms, CDPs. One of the benefits of that is you’re really trying to get a full, what we used to call the 360 view of the customer. This is the opportunity for a brand to own the customer and the customer experience starting from, again having clean data. Part of the reason we don’t have clean data is not necessarily through laziness or challenges with the experience of trying to ingest that data in from third parties, but it’s also we find a big challenge in having that data spread … I mean, we have challenges in terms of data being in the different technologies. How do we centralize that information when we actually need to do it?

This could lead to a conversation on privacy and AI. Let’s say your stack of technologies related to the customers, 18 to 30, some odd pieces of technology,  how do you even respect the customer’s wishes on their privacy, or how do you apply AI in a grander scope of things that would help you navigate what that really respects?

Small Business Trends: The foundation of how we built our customer engagement is spread out. It’s disparate. It’s kind of hard to bring it all together. It’s kind of hard to make sense of whatever the interactions are because they’re coming in from all over the place. Maybe there’s a technology problem, but let’s take the technology problem out of it. There’s still a big issue with a lot of companies, because they’re looking at things from their perspective. They’re looking at how do we get people to buy more stuff and not necessarily looking at it from the customer’s perspective.

Let’s face it. They can have the greatest technology, they can have the greatest platform, they can have all the data coming in, they can have their AI running and finding all these great insights, and if they don’t deliver those insights in a meaningful way, in a way that will be empathetic and will connect the dots to the customer, all that stuff is for naught.

Anand Thaker: Yep.

Small Business Trends: I think that’s where we are. To take it one step further. I’ve talked to a number of companies, and there are a lot of folks who just cut the spigot off when it came to doing any kind of marketing, ad campaigns, marketing campaigns, cut it off completely just because of the uncertainty in the environment. The interesting thing about that is not that they did it, because everybody was kind of scared. You’re starting to see some life coming back to that, but I’ve been having some really interesting conversations, I’m not going to say who, but there are vendors who said, “Yeah, we cut it out, and guess what? We’re doing all right. We are not going to be going back to what we were doing before. We’re not going to be spending that money the way we were spending it before.”

I have a suspicion that the few companies I talked to, they are just representative of what I think is going to be happening on the other side of the pandemic. It seems to me that there’s a movement from a lot of these companies who spent a lot of money and did a lot of this programmatic stuff. They might not be coming back to spend anywhere near what they spent on those activities before COVID-19. Are you hearing anything like that?

Anand Thaker: Yeah, absolutely. We’re seeing it on a couple of fronts. COVID shook a lot of things up. The old models don’t support a lot of those purposeful missions moving forward. Let me roll back a little bit because on the front of talking about programmatic advertising and what that means, in terms of businesses actually cutting off marketing, or just cutting out marketing or cutting out advertising, I think there’s a lot of opportunity to just do things, regardless of whether it’s the highest performing, because you’ve got to do them. You’ve got the spend, you’re going to budget. That’s what everybody else is doing. You have the fear of missing out. “Oh my gosh, if I saw it … ”

Think about it like billboards or TV ads, or let’s say Superbowl commercials. People have this fear of missing out because, “Oh man, my competitor did a Superbowl commercial, therefore we should strive to do something similar.” Well, we don’t live in that kind of world today. There’s not a limited channel of ways to engage with a customer anymore. Those things start to change. Many companies that I’ve talked to or have heard from or learn about as I hear about, they try to take one channel and think that’s the silver bullet rather than trying to diversify into a portfolio. One of the things I’ve been striving for, I’ve been working intensely with companies for the last eight, nine months now trying to navigate them through the COVID or some of those crisis situations.

One of the first things is marketing, yes or no? That’s not the right question to ask. That correct question is, is the marketing efforts or spend that you have, are they engaged in building a relationship with a customer? If it’s not part of the journey or if they’re not responsible for the entire journey back into the business operations of the company, then yeah, maybe need to consider cutting it, because it’s an expensive spend and you’re basically competing … You’re selling against yourself. You spend a dollar, someone spends 105, then you got to spend 110, then they spend more and then you have to spend more, but if your marketing spend is basically driven on developing a deeper relationship, meaning you are training your staff, frontline staff perhaps, at a retail store, on developing better experiences, or you’re working on the digital journey for how people buy, or trying to come up with different ways to help your customers make a decision, or help them, say, like in a fintech world, like you have some sort of financial services option, you’re trying to help them be better financial … financially savvy.

If you’re doing those types of things and the customer feels like you’re helping them through that, whether they buy from you or not, they become those advocates. That’s the part where you can elevate across your other competitors by sitting there and focusing on it. A lot of people say that, but they’re not talking about … They’re talking about limited to the digital spend, but there’s a lot of pieces beyond the digital ad. I think that’s what a lot of companies are doing, Brent, is they’re looking at the grand scope of things and saying, “Wow. Really, ads aren’t bringing the conversion rates we’re looking for, or perhaps aren’t giving us the awareness that we’re really hoping for,” but I think a lot of that will change over time and everyone will evolve. I’m always a believer that people and companies will evolve because either they need to, or they go away.

Small Business Trends: But the whole idea of empathy …

Anand Thaker: That’s right.

Small Business Trends: What I’ve noticed, the programmatic stuff, there is absolutely no empathy involved. That’s just pure, we know data, we know where you’ve been and we’re going to follow you and hound you wherever you go on the web. You see popups and it’s just ridiculous and it makes you not want to buy anything. There’s zero … I mean, they did a lot of work on the analytics. They did a lot of data aggregation. They’ve been looking at the insight, knowing where you’re going to go. That’s great.

Anand Thaker: Right.

Small Business Trends: Zero empathy in the actual activity and the action. I think that is driving people crazy. That’s why I think you’re seeing folks, because in the pandemic, the thing that you need most is empathy in order to show folks, like you said, that they care and that you’re creating an interaction that is based off of not just data, but it’s based off of data and delivered in an empathetic way that lets people understand that you care.

Anand Thaker: Right.

Small Business Trends: That’s where I think there’s an opportunity for a shift in some of this budget away from just pure programmatic, pure analytics, pure re-target, and to have to do a little bit more work, which requires you to really understand, not just know where you’re going or know where they’re going, but to understand why, and then to create an interaction opportunity that takes that into consideration so that you don’t spend all your time and effort and money on pure analytics and understanding without being able to deliver that understanding in an empathetic way.

Anand Thaker: I agree. The reason I tend to hesitate using empathy in some of these conversations is because we don’t define that well. I think that’s one of the problems is we don’t say what it is that we’re doing to be empathetic. For example, I mean, you’re training your frontline staff to be your team members to better serve their customers, or you’re trying to find an easier way for people to pay for their merchandise online, or you’re trying to understand how to elevate someone’s profession. I mean, I think if you’re going to use the word empathy, then you need to say exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, at least one thing that’s more specific than just saying, “Oh yeah, we’re going to be empathetic.”

That’s the kind of crap that gets all these companies in trouble is they go find a lot of these empathy consultants and then guess what they’re asking you to do too? There’s a lot of good ones out there and you know what they’re going to tell you? They’re going to say, “What are you doing that makes you empathetic or more empathetic than someone else?” Empathy is a magic word, but until you actually define what that is for your company specifically, actionable, like what those actionable steps will look like or what’s the goal look like, you’re not going to get anywhere. We’ve seen some matters come up where people are like, “Oh, well you just changed your logo and put out like a press release and you think you’re done,” and it’s not. You have to do more than that to make that magic happen.

Small Business Trends: Yeah, but here’s the thing. They have resources.

Anand Thaker: Right.

Small Business Trends: I don’t want to make light of the amount of effort and finances that it takes to identify where your customers are engaging and integrate into those channels and get that data in and analyze that data and understand that data and try to find insights that will impact at that time, at the right time. That’s a ton of work. That’s a ton of money and it takes a ton of effort, but why go through all that and then fumble when you actually go to address that person if you haven’t spent a little time, a little effort? It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split here, but it does have to have … You have to spend some time not only understanding, but then, how do we best communicate our understanding? How do we best communicate that insight so that when we do interact with somebody, they’re more likely to understand where we’re coming from and that we’re on their side and we’re trying to deliver some value for them at the time they need it? That’s all I’m saying.

Anand Thaker: Yeah. A measurable way to look at that, this is just back of the napkin kind of thing, is look at retention. How many people are you keeping as customers, if you’re in this subscription-based world? How many people are advocates of yours, like active advocates, not just liking something on one of the social media platforms? I’m talking about they are out there selling on your behalf. They’re proud to be part of your company as a result of things.

Then the third piece would be, how easy has it been to recruit? If a company is doing a great job of having empathy and it’s being well demonstrated, you’ll see people come in that want to work for you. Maybe it’s a little skewed today because COVID is going to cause a lot of shuffle in terms of talent opportunities and opportunities for jobs just period, but still, I mean, how many of the best talent is coming your way, as opposed to you having to pull them in and try to recruit them at the highest price possible because you’re struggling in some capacity? Think about it from a recruiting standpoint, an advocate standpoint and a retention standpoint. Those will give you clues about how well your empathy is working.

This article, "MarTech Insider Anand Thaker: Marketing Not Aimed at Building Real Relationships with Customers? Cut It." was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Fiverr Introduces Promoted Gigs for Freelancers to Advertise Services

Promoted Gigs

Business has slowed down across the board because of the pandemic, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t new opportunities. Promoted Gigs from Fiverr looks to give freelancers the ability to advertise their services on its marketplace. The goal is to help boost the earnings of freelancers and grow their business.

Fiverr says it is improving the eCommerce experience for freelancers with this advertising service just as they help small businesses around the world improve their operations and grow their company. Best of all Fiverr says it only takes a few clicks to get you going. And during the beta test earlier this year both sellers and buyers have experienced the benefits.

Fiverr Promoted Gigs

The Founder and CEO of Fiverr, Micha Kaufman, explains the opportunity Promoted Gigs is providing in the press release. Kaufman says this new service will allow freelancers to invest and grow their online business. Adding, “Promoted Gigs is a fantastic way for high quality, talented and motivated freelancers to stand out, earn more and build a stronger business on Fiverr.”

The new service allows sellers to bid and win prime locations on the Fiverr platform. This is made possible through an auction and pay-per-click mechanism.

Advertising on Fiverr

With 830,000 sellers since inception and more than 200 digital service categories across 160+ countries, finding the right person can get time-consuming.

When a buyer gets on Fiverr, the sheer number of freelancers can be overwhelming. Even after you use the filter there are still many people you have to go through. With Promoted Gigs things can get much easier for you. Sifting through the ads from freelancers can give you a quick look at a possible match for your particular needs.

Using Promoted Gigs

As a seller, Fiverr suggests promoting your best performing gigs. This means showcasing gigs with top reviews so you can increase your chances of converting visitors to orders. High-quality gigs with engaging descriptions and extra services are a great start.

Once you have your ad ready to go it is time to set the price you are willing to pay for the ad. Set the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click on your ad and the Fiverr auction system will take care of the rest. Remember, your chance of winning your ad spot goes up the higher you set the price.

When the ad is in place the system will calculate the minimum amount per click you need to pay so you can win against your competitors. Fiverr will recommend a price to bid, but if you want you can bid above or below that number. According to Fiverr, you only pay for clicks and you will never pay more than the maximum.

When it comes time to pay for your ad, you can do so with the balance you have in your Fiverr account. There is no upfront payment because the system can’t charge you without any activity. The charge is retroactive each month based on the ads’ activity of the previous month.

With a winning bid, the ad for the gig will appear at the top of the category pages or search results. This is where buyers searching for a particular subject are looking.

Last but not least, you can control the activity of your campaign on a single dashboard by viewing, tracking and managing your ads.

Available Categories

Fiver says at launch Promoted Gigs is not going to be available across the 200+ categories it provides.

As of now, there are 15 categories, but there will be more in the future. If you are a seller on Fiverr, here are the categories available now:

  • Voice Over
  • Illustration
  • Logo Design
  • Proofreading & Editing
  • Whiteboard & Animated Explainers
  • WordPress
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Articles & Blog Posts
  • Web & Mobile Design
  • Photoshop Editing
  • Architecture & Interior Design
  • Web Programming
  • E-commerce Development
  • Mobile Apps
  • Book & eBook Writing

Criteria for Freelancers

In order to get an invitation to promote their gig, freelancers have to meet certain criteria and quality standards.

Get in touch with Fiverr for more.

Image: fiverr.com

This article, "Fiverr Introduces Promoted Gigs for Freelancers to Advertise Services" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Fiverr Introduces Promoted Gigs for Freelancers to Advertise Services

Promoted Gigs

Business has slowed down across the board because of the pandemic, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t new opportunities. Promoted Gigs from Fiverr looks to give freelancers the ability to advertise their services on its marketplace. The goal is to help boost the earnings of freelancers and grow their business.

Fiverr says it is improving the eCommerce experience for freelancers with this advertising service just as they help small businesses around the world improve their operations and grow their company. Best of all Fiverr says it only takes a few clicks to get you going. And during the beta test earlier this year both sellers and buyers have experienced the benefits.

Fiverr Promoted Gigs

The Founder and CEO of Fiverr, Micha Kaufman, explains the opportunity Promoted Gigs is providing in the press release. Kaufman says this new service will allow freelancers to invest and grow their online business. Adding, “Promoted Gigs is a fantastic way for high quality, talented and motivated freelancers to stand out, earn more and build a stronger business on Fiverr.”

The new service allows sellers to bid and win prime locations on the Fiverr platform. This is made possible through an auction and pay-per-click mechanism.

Advertising on Fiverr

With 830,000 sellers since inception and more than 200 digital service categories across 160+ countries, finding the right person can get time-consuming.

When a buyer gets on Fiverr, the sheer number of freelancers can be overwhelming. Even after you use the filter there are still many people you have to go through. With Promoted Gigs things can get much easier for you. Sifting through the ads from freelancers can give you a quick look at a possible match for your particular needs.

Using Promoted Gigs

As a seller, Fiverr suggests promoting your best performing gigs. This means showcasing gigs with top reviews so you can increase your chances of converting visitors to orders. High-quality gigs with engaging descriptions and extra services are a great start.

Once you have your ad ready to go it is time to set the price you are willing to pay for the ad. Set the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click on your ad and the Fiverr auction system will take care of the rest. Remember, your chance of winning your ad spot goes up the higher you set the price.

When the ad is in place the system will calculate the minimum amount per click you need to pay so you can win against your competitors. Fiverr will recommend a price to bid, but if you want you can bid above or below that number. According to Fiverr, you only pay for clicks and you will never pay more than the maximum.

When it comes time to pay for your ad, you can do so with the balance you have in your Fiverr account. There is no upfront payment because the system can’t charge you without any activity. The charge is retroactive each month based on the ads’ activity of the previous month.

With a winning bid, the ad for the gig will appear at the top of the category pages or search results. This is where buyers searching for a particular subject are looking.

Last but not least, you can control the activity of your campaign on a single dashboard by viewing, tracking and managing your ads.

Available Categories

Fiver says at launch Promoted Gigs is not going to be available across the 200+ categories it provides.

As of now, there are 15 categories, but there will be more in the future. If you are a seller on Fiverr, here are the categories available now:

  • Voice Over
  • Illustration
  • Logo Design
  • Proofreading & Editing
  • Whiteboard & Animated Explainers
  • WordPress
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Articles & Blog Posts
  • Web & Mobile Design
  • Photoshop Editing
  • Architecture & Interior Design
  • Web Programming
  • E-commerce Development
  • Mobile Apps
  • Book & eBook Writing

Criteria for Freelancers

In order to get an invitation to promote their gig, freelancers have to meet certain criteria and quality standards.

Get in touch with Fiverr for more.

Image: fiverr.com

This article, "Fiverr Introduces Promoted Gigs for Freelancers to Advertise Services" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

In the News – Nearly Every Small Business Reinvented Itself During Pandemic

reinvent your business

The pandemic created myriad challenges for businesses of all sizes, but especially small businesses.

On the day many were told they had to close their doors and either cease operations or do business another way, it created a challenge many hadn’t faced before. But if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that small businesses are ready for just about any challenge, including a global pandemic.

And a new survey from GetApp proves that. The company found that nearly all small businesses – an astounding 92% – have reinvented themselves and made changes to their operations to keep going.

These changes may have been forced by the situations caused by the pandemic but may become the norm going forward, for the better.

To learn more about how small businesses reinvented themselves during this challenging time, check out our story on the GetApp survey: 92% of US Small Businesses Have “Reinvented” Themselves During Pandemic.

For the rest of the week’s big news for small business, check out our weekly news roundup below.

Small Business News Roundup – July 31, 2020

Walmart Open Call 2020 Deadline is August 10

Could your product or products be sold from store shelves in Walmart? You’ll never know until you try. Submissions to Walmart’s Open Call are due by August 10. The company annually hosts Open Call, a search for new and innovative products to sell in its stores. Hundreds apply and hundreds benefit.

NetBlaze Launches Digital Marketing App

The most important element of managing a small business is one that can fall through the cracks. Marketing. Small business owners need a many-pegged rack to hold all their hats. Hiring employees, stocking supplies, tracking monies in and out, paying utilities and oh yeah, marketing. Marketing is an important aspect of small business management.

Currnt Helping B2B Marketers Make Informed Decisions from a Distance

Currnt is looking to help B2B marketers sort through COVID 19. The on-demand marketing intelligence startup provides a virtual market research toolkit. And they recently launched SmartGroups, a virtual focus group tool. Small Business Trends contacted Tom O’Malley, founder and CEO of Currnt, to learn more. He described how the network of service delivery partners works.

Teespring Sees Monumental Growth – Good News for Creatives

Teespring, has announced that it has registered a compounded growth of 97% during the second quarter of 2020. The social commerce platform has attributed the staggering growth to a large-scale pivot towards eCommerce activities during the pandemic. The company has benefited as it continues to see 2,400 creators signing on the platform every day. This is a growth of 2013% for the company.

Bartering Helping Cash-Strapped Businesses Survive Pandemic

During economic downturns, such as high unemployment and cash shortages, bartering is always a go-to solution. This is what BizX is seeing during the economic hardship businesses are facing brought on by the pandemic. According to BizX, its platform is emerging as an important tool for businesses so they can keep their cash reserves.

New UPS Store Survey Shows How Small Businesses are Pivoting

UPS’ Inside Small Business Survey reveals 41% of small business owners have pivoted their business in the wake of COVID-19. The survey of more than 330 entrepreneurs, reveals how small businesses have adapted and became resilient. As some businesses ground to halt others have looked for opportunities among the challenges and soldiered on.

45% of People Working from Home Feel More Productive

As far as disruptions go, how we work has been completely upended by COVID-19. With more people working from home, the fact that 44.9% say they feel more productive is good news for businesses. Another 20.6% say they don’t see a change in productivity, leaving 34.5% who say they are more productive in the office. The data comes from a detailed survey and report from SellCell.

Some – Not Many – Small Business Owners Believe Things Will Never Return to Normal

An increasing number of small business owners are saying their businesses won’t return to normal. As of May, this year more than 50% of interviewees noted their pessimism over fears of a resurgence of COVID-19. According to a report by LendingTree the level of pessimism in the business community varies from city to city.

LiveChat Adds Text Messaging to Customer Service Platform

LiveChat has launched a new feature that enables businesses to use text messaging to communicate with customers. LiveChat are specialists in online customer service software. The company recently partnered with Twilio and launched the integration of the LiveChat application with the Twilio platform.

What Gen Z Really Wants at Work — It’s Not What You Think

Your younger employees want more than just fun, recognition, and good work-life balance at the workplace. According to the latest survey from Zippia, the most desired benefits of Gen Z (ages 18-25) are health insurance, remote work, and 401k/retirement benefits. Surprisingly, employees of all ages desired these benefits most.

Kabbage Checking Gives Small Businesses Flexibility With Full Features

Kabbage has announced the launch of its new checking account solution targeting small businesses. The new offering provides small businesses access to digital banking services including electronic wallets, free ATM access and bill payments. According to Kabbage, these are the same capabilities, convenience and security businesses can expect with a traditional checking account.

How Work from Home is Pushing the Boundaries of Privacy Again

With more people working from home, business and personal lives are getting merged more than ever. This trend is also pushing the boundaries of what level of privacy can be expected by employees and consumers in this new work environment.

Small Business Employees Returning to Work – But with Fewer Hours and Lower Pay

Small business employees are returning to work. But there’s a caveat. They’re coming back with fewer hours and less pay for now.

GatherUp Helps Businesses Gather Google Review Info

Customers put a high value on online reviews of business products and services. Businesses should also sit up and take notice. Now that’s a lot easier. GatherUp has launched a service called Google Review Attributes Monitoring. A business owner could call it a reputation management solution.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "In the News – Nearly Every Small Business Reinvented Itself During Pandemic" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

In the News – Nearly Every Small Business Reinvented Itself During Pandemic

reinvent your business

The pandemic created myriad challenges for businesses of all sizes, but especially small businesses.

On the day many were told they had to close their doors and either cease operations or do business another way, it created a challenge many hadn’t faced before. But if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that small businesses are ready for just about any challenge, including a global pandemic.

And a new survey from GetApp proves that. The company found that nearly all small businesses – an astounding 92% – have reinvented themselves and made changes to their operations to keep going.

These changes may have been forced by the situations caused by the pandemic but may become the norm going forward, for the better.

To learn more about how small businesses reinvented themselves during this challenging time, check out our story on the GetApp survey: 92% of US Small Businesses Have “Reinvented” Themselves During Pandemic.

For the rest of the week’s big news for small business, check out our weekly news roundup below.

Small Business News Roundup – July 31, 2020

Walmart Open Call 2020 Deadline is August 10

Could your product or products be sold from store shelves in Walmart? You’ll never know until you try. Submissions to Walmart’s Open Call are due by August 10. The company annually hosts Open Call, a search for new and innovative products to sell in its stores. Hundreds apply and hundreds benefit.

NetBlaze Launches Digital Marketing App

The most important element of managing a small business is one that can fall through the cracks. Marketing. Small business owners need a many-pegged rack to hold all their hats. Hiring employees, stocking supplies, tracking monies in and out, paying utilities and oh yeah, marketing. Marketing is an important aspect of small business management.

Currnt Helping B2B Marketers Make Informed Decisions from a Distance

Currnt is looking to help B2B marketers sort through COVID 19. The on-demand marketing intelligence startup provides a virtual market research toolkit. And they recently launched SmartGroups, a virtual focus group tool. Small Business Trends contacted Tom O’Malley, founder and CEO of Currnt, to learn more. He described how the network of service delivery partners works.

Teespring Sees Monumental Growth – Good News for Creatives

Teespring, has announced that it has registered a compounded growth of 97% during the second quarter of 2020. The social commerce platform has attributed the staggering growth to a large-scale pivot towards eCommerce activities during the pandemic. The company has benefited as it continues to see 2,400 creators signing on the platform every day. This is a growth of 2013% for the company.

Bartering Helping Cash-Strapped Businesses Survive Pandemic

During economic downturns, such as high unemployment and cash shortages, bartering is always a go-to solution. This is what BizX is seeing during the economic hardship businesses are facing brought on by the pandemic. According to BizX, its platform is emerging as an important tool for businesses so they can keep their cash reserves.

New UPS Store Survey Shows How Small Businesses are Pivoting

UPS’ Inside Small Business Survey reveals 41% of small business owners have pivoted their business in the wake of COVID-19. The survey of more than 330 entrepreneurs, reveals how small businesses have adapted and became resilient. As some businesses ground to halt others have looked for opportunities among the challenges and soldiered on.

45% of People Working from Home Feel More Productive

As far as disruptions go, how we work has been completely upended by COVID-19. With more people working from home, the fact that 44.9% say they feel more productive is good news for businesses. Another 20.6% say they don’t see a change in productivity, leaving 34.5% who say they are more productive in the office. The data comes from a detailed survey and report from SellCell.

Some – Not Many – Small Business Owners Believe Things Will Never Return to Normal

An increasing number of small business owners are saying their businesses won’t return to normal. As of May, this year more than 50% of interviewees noted their pessimism over fears of a resurgence of COVID-19. According to a report by LendingTree the level of pessimism in the business community varies from city to city.

LiveChat Adds Text Messaging to Customer Service Platform

LiveChat has launched a new feature that enables businesses to use text messaging to communicate with customers. LiveChat are specialists in online customer service software. The company recently partnered with Twilio and launched the integration of the LiveChat application with the Twilio platform.

What Gen Z Really Wants at Work — It’s Not What You Think

Your younger employees want more than just fun, recognition, and good work-life balance at the workplace. According to the latest survey from Zippia, the most desired benefits of Gen Z (ages 18-25) are health insurance, remote work, and 401k/retirement benefits. Surprisingly, employees of all ages desired these benefits most.

Kabbage Checking Gives Small Businesses Flexibility With Full Features

Kabbage has announced the launch of its new checking account solution targeting small businesses. The new offering provides small businesses access to digital banking services including electronic wallets, free ATM access and bill payments. According to Kabbage, these are the same capabilities, convenience and security businesses can expect with a traditional checking account.

How Work from Home is Pushing the Boundaries of Privacy Again

With more people working from home, business and personal lives are getting merged more than ever. This trend is also pushing the boundaries of what level of privacy can be expected by employees and consumers in this new work environment.

Small Business Employees Returning to Work – But with Fewer Hours and Lower Pay

Small business employees are returning to work. But there’s a caveat. They’re coming back with fewer hours and less pay for now.

GatherUp Helps Businesses Gather Google Review Info

Customers put a high value on online reviews of business products and services. Businesses should also sit up and take notice. Now that’s a lot easier. GatherUp has launched a service called Google Review Attributes Monitoring. A business owner could call it a reputation management solution.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "In the News – Nearly Every Small Business Reinvented Itself During Pandemic" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds