New survey data released today from Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) QuickBooks reveals that 93% of U.S. shoppers say supporting small businesses this upcoming holiday season is more important than ever because of the pandemic. Furthermore, nearly half of consumers (48%) are more likely to try new businesses than they were pre-pandemic, presenting a large opportunity for retail-based small businesses looking to maximize their holiday sales. In addition to the newly announced data, QuickBooks also launched its first QuickBooks Holiday Shopping Guide, a curated list of small businesses ideal for any shopping list this holiday season.
The QuickBooks Commerce Small Business Shopping Report highlights data on consumer shopping attitudes toward small businesses. The survey of 2,000 U.S. adults underscores the fundamental shift in consumer shopping behavior as a result of the pandemic - shedding light on both the opportunities and challenges ahead for small business owners, particularly with the holiday shopping season approaching.
Despite consumers’ overwhelming support of shopping small, small business owners need to remove barriers that prevent shoppers from actually making a purchase. Having an online presence that not only aids in the discovery of the business but also drives sales is more critical than ever. Nearly half (48%) of the consumers surveyed stopped shopping at a store they visited before the pandemic because the business didn’t have an online store. Additionally, 53% have considered using a business, but changed their minds because the business did not have a website. Other key findings of the research include:
Consumers value convenience. Nearly half (44%) of consumers enjoy online shopping because they don’t need to leave the house, and around a third of consumers like online shopping for the ease of finding products (33%), speed of researching and comparing products (32%), and as a result, finding the most affordable option (31%).
Technical and shipping issues frustrate consumers. 83% of online shoppers have experienced technical issues at least once or twice while shopping or browsing on small businesses’ websites, posing a threat to sales conversion. Furthermore, shipping is the biggest challenge for about 29% of consumers who have shopped with small businesses online, particularly high shipping costs (22%).
Consumers want the best of both worlds. For 56% of consumers, their shopping journey often involves both online and in-person channels, known as “omnichannel shopping.” This means a majority of consumers are either looking at products in-store and then purchasing online, or finding products online and then buying them in store.
“Our research shows that consumers want to support small businesses, but they often aren’t able to provide consumers with the online shopping experience they’ve come to expect, missing out on potential sales,” said Shilpa Reddy, Vice President of QuickBooks Commerce at Intuit. “We introduced QuickBooks Commerce to help small businesses break the barrier of selling online, while being able to expand to other channels, so that they can adapt and thrive to the omnichannel shopping experiences consumers demand.”
Intuit launched QuickBooks Commerce in 2020 to help businesses manage the business and operational complexities and meet consumers’ desire for “omnichannel shopping” that includes across multiple channels. The offering allows businesses to better manage products, orders, inventory and fulfillment across multiple online and offline sales channels, so they can expand their customer base by meeting consumers where they are.
“As a business owner that sells through multiple channels – direct to consumer, wholesale, Amazon – ensuring that we have one place to manage all of our inventory and sales is critical, especially leading up to a busy holiday season,” said Craig Zucker, founder of Speks. “Managing our inventory and fulfilment across all sales channels while also integrating seamlessly with our accounting system through QuickBooks Commerce gives our small team more time and resources to focus on expanding our customer base and developing new tactile products to make the world a happier, more creative, and more productive place.”
Introducing the QuickBooks Holiday Shopping Guide
This holiday season, Intuit is making it easier for consumers to shop small through a curated small business guide to help shoppers find creative, bespoke holiday gifts. The QuickBooks Small Business Holiday Shopping Guide allows shoppers to find and support small businesses from around the country. The range of QuickBooks customers and products spotlighted in the guide showcases the innovations and ingenuity of American entrepreneurs.
The QuickBooks Small Business Holiday Shopping Guide features a range of inspiring entrepreneurs who offer unique gifts:
Food and Beverage:
CocoTutti - handmade, artisanal sweets and chocolates
Barred Wood - environmentally sustainable maple syrup
Corner 103 - limited-product, award-winning wine
Embrew Tea - naturally sweetened loose leaf grade teas
Girl Meets Dirt - heritage preserves for sweet and savory pairings
Work From Home:
Kids and Pets:
Small Business Resources to Support an Omni-shopping Experience
Beyond the QuickBooks platform’s products and services designed to help small businesses grow and thrive, there are a range of online resources from the QuickBooks Resource Center to help small businesses prepare for the holiday shopping season:
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The QuickBooks Commerce Small Business Shopping Report was conducted by Wakefield Research among 2,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between July 28th and August 4th, 2021, using an email invitation and an online survey. The data has been weighted to ensure reliable and accurate representation of U.S. adults ages 18+.
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