American small business owners are bullish on holiday season sales, a new study says. Ink from Chase’s second annual holiday survey revealed that 61% of respondents believe elevated consumer demand will drive better business performance during the holidays. That’s far better than 2013, when only 31% expected superior year-over-year performance.
“It’s encouraging to see that U.S. small business owners continue to maintain a positive outlook about their business and future growth opportunities,” says Laura Miller, president of Ink from Chase.
Highlighting the increasing importance of web-based transactions, 43% of owners say expanded e-commerce and mobile sales will help drive better performance this winter. In 2013, only 27% of respondents expected the same. Relatedly, half of small business owners plan to reach customers through social media promotions in the run up to the year’s end – a 20-percentage-point rise over last year. Some 31% of owners aim to offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.
Created from the responses of 509 small business owners with two to 99 employees, the survey highlighted other positives about the final sales sprint of 2014. More than half (52%) of small business owners anticipate up to 20% of sales to come from new customers this holiday season. In a related finding, better marketing is proving effective for small business owners, with 45% citing this as a contributor to better business this holiday season compared to only one-third (31%) in 2013. Meanwhile, a majority (64%) of small business owners feel more prepared for this holiday season compared to previous years.