Most small business merchants — 73% — will rely on email to advertise this holiday season. And 70% will utilize organic social media, according to U.S. Small Business Holiday Forecast, a study released Wednesday by Ecwid E-commerce.
Their third choice is paid social media, followed by text messages.
Of those polled, 41% expect higher sales this year. However, 76% say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their holiday planning, with 45% saying it has significantly affected plans.
The study also found that 55% plan to move up their shipping deadlines to account for delays.
Yet 87% do not plan to increase seasonal staff to fulfill online orders.
A majority are offering free shipping to drive sales, followed by free gift with purchase. Curbside pickup is third.
The most widely used discount will be 11%-25% off regular prices, followed by 1%-10%.
But 75% say they have been hurt by COVID-19, and they are “tasked with recouping significant losses this season. Small businesses nationwide are preparing for the busiest, most digital, and most impactful holiday season yet,” states Ruslan Fazlyev, founder and CEO of Ecwid E-commerce.
Ecwid E-commerce surveyed 192 small business owners.