Your local business is part of the community. When a customer enters your store, you know their name without having to check a database. You might even count some of your customers as friends.
That intimacy, attention to detail, and high level of involvement in customer service will always supersede the impersonal interactions of big box stores.
Local businesses must pay attention to the trends behind customer interactions. In the age of personalization, customers expect nothing less. For instance, Google’s small business search trends show that customers have shown 350 times more search interest in “local” and “near me” than they did a decade ago.
Local businesses must harness every opportunity to be ‘digitally’ close to their customers. In other words, they need to be just a click-to-call away.
Here are some important statistics that highlight the mobile phone’s role in customer interactions which local businesses can take advantage of.
- 37% of Americans say they most often use their smartphone for making a phone call. – (ReportLinker)
- 88% of mobile users who conduct a local search visit the physical store within a week. (Think with Google)
- 33% of all mobile searches are made right before visiting a store. (Sitecentre)
- 84% of all “near me” searches are on mobile. (Uberall)
- 68% of smartphone searchers have used the “get directions” or “click to call” options in local mobile ads. (Business2Community)
- 18% of local mobile searches lead to a purchase within a day. (HubSpot)
Additionally, mobile devices will be responsible for $1.4 trillion in local sales by 2021. If local businesses are at the heart of our country’s economy, it’s the phone that keeps them there.
Local business challenges and outcomes.
With large retailers investing heavily in mobile-readiness, local independent businesses are understandably worried about their own growth. The pandemic poses greater challenges in engaging customers with everyone behind closed doors. Almost one-third (31%) of small businesses in the U.S. are currently not operational (Facebook, 2020).
To encourage support for small businesses, several US cities – including Orlando, Florida and Tucson, Arizona – have begun to organize “Buy Local” or “Local First” marketing programs. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) revealed that independent businesses with a long-term “buy local and independent campaign,” reported average revenue growth of 7.4%. The growth can be attributed to the 45% of customers observed to buy from local businesses to encourage them.
As customers help local businesses battle these dark times, the amount of customer interactions are also increasing. In fact, 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone call a store within a day.
Handle your calls with ease.
It’s a time of uncertainty for small businesses. We know that nearly 50% of SMB owners and managers are burned out tackling business and household responsibilities. Yet, it is possible for you to go the extra mile for your callers and show them you care.
Contact us to see how we can help handle your calls 24×7 while you focus on other priorities.