The mostly unreported story of Black Friday weekend is that much of the ecommerce growth came from “bricks-and-clicks” retailers, not pure-play e-tailers. The reason: Physical stores offer a critical customer experience and serve as a “brand anchor,” both of which support ecommerce for traditional retailers. Stores drive online sales because they instill a sense of confidence and trust in the consumer.
The question of whether or when SMBs are going to self-provision online marketing has been a topic of intense debate for at least a decade. Signs now point to the emergence of solutions simple enough to make self-service viable within three to five years. Ultimately, rather than a do-it-yourself vs. do-it-for-me dichotomy, we’re likely to see an increasingly stratified local market that looks a lot like a three-cabin airplane seating chart.
Data is a core principle of digital marketing today, yet when it comes to local, big data has not penetrated very deeply where the sales process is concerned. All of that is about to change with the appearance of multiple companies trying to put data at the center of the way digital marketing is presented and sold to local businesses.
Many “geoscenti” have uncritically accepted certain foundational local statistics because they’re so widely cited and repeated. As a result they’ve acquired the status of “common knowledge.” But are these numbers ultimately traceable to a real, credible source? It’s not really clear…
Just nine months ago, the overwhelming majority of small business (SMB) owners didn’t consider mobile an important marketing channel. But as SMBs and their customers have adopted smartphones in increasing numbers, merchant interest in mobile marketing has grown — very rapidly.