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If you’re trying to reach retail customers, mobile marketing had better be part of your strategy. That’s according to a new study by Hitwise, an eCommerce and consumer analytics company.
The study (PDF) found that 56 percent of visitors to the Hitwise Retail 500, a collection of the top 500 retail websites now come from smartphones or tablets.
Here are some other highlights of the company’s “Mobile Search: Topics and Themes” Report:Mobile Retail Search Trends 72 Percent of Visits to Food and Beverage Sites Come From Mobile
According to the study, a whopping 72 percent of online searches that result in a visit to a food and beverage site come from mobile devices. The health industry comes a close second, with 68 percent of searches being generated on mobile devices.
Surprisingly, entertainment (42 percent) and banking (39 percent) were among industries that found desktop searches beating mobile searches.Kitchen Tips and Food Safety Draw Large Percentages of Mobile Search
According to the study, a large number of consumers are using their smartphones to make important food decisions.
So whether it’s quick kitchen tips (82 percent) or answers to food safety concerns (80 percent), consumers are relying heavily on their mobile devices.Retail: Location-Based Searches High on Mobile
It’s worth noting that location-based retail searches are quite prominent on mobile devices. It’s probably not difficult to understand why. Busy consumers make impulsive shopping decisions and they are often looking for solutions that are well within their reach.
Moreover, the study reflects mobile consumers want to know who is open for business and when. For example, 82 percent of the searches for the term “24 hour ” originate on mobile devices.
Not Going Mobile is Not an Option for Businesses
Regardless of the industry they belong to, businesses can no longer afford to ignore mobile. Arguments in favor of mobile-first marketing strategies continue to increase, and with good reason.
Last year, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches on Google for the first time. Seizing the growth opportunity, Google introduced the first of what’s expected to be many mobile adaptations of eCommerce tools.
The search engine giant has also revamped AdWords to address the mobile-first trends and capture the interest of an increasing number of consumers who prefer using their phones to seek information.
For small businesses, this is the right time to develop a mobile strategy. To begin with, businesses should make their websites more mobile-friendly. It’s also important to ensure the load speed of the mobile page is fast enough to retain the interest of busy users.
A well-defined mobile strategy can provide long-term benefits for the small businesses using it correctly.
This article, "56 Percent of Top Retail Searches Now Come from Mobile, Report Says" was first published on Small Business Trends
When you first start a business, you have your work cut out for you. Not only do you have to figure out if you have a viable product that people will actually pay you for, but you have to also find your customers, manage administrative tasks and deal with your staff, if you have one. Get started by building your infrastructure with this important checklist.Checklist for Building Your Business Infrastructure 1. A Blogging Platform
One of the first marketing tasks you should put on your list is to create a business blog. WordPress makes it easy (and it’s free. Bonus!). This content management system doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to use, and will make creating consistent content for your audience a breeze.
Bonus Tip: Not only is WordPress great for your blog, but it also can be the platform for your website. More and more people are using it to create easily-manageable websites with professional templates rather than shelling out a ton of money to a web designer.2. Accounting Software
It is imperative that you have a system to manage your finances in place from the start. Accounting software like FreshBooks or QuickBooks simplifies keeping up with your expenses, and you can do other cool things like invoice clients, pay vendors and track your time spent on client projects.
Bonus Tip: Open a bank account for your business so you separate your company’s finances from your personal accounts. This will make tax time a lot easier too.3. Customer Relationship Management Software
Every small business needs CRM. Being able to track emails and conversations with potential customers and monitor their activity on social media can help you make more sales. You might only have a few customers early on, but as your business grows, those numbers will increase, and it will become harder to manage them all without a great CRM system in place.
Bonus Tip: Some CRMs on the market double as a project management tool, so use it to assign yourself and your team tasks related to marketing and sales.4. Social Media Profiles
Before you say that you don’t need social media accounts so early in the game, consider that 65 percent of adults have social profiles. If you’re trying to reach your audience, chances are they’re spending significant time on sites like Facebook and Instagram. Keep your profile updated with relevant content, special offers and interaction with other users, and you’ll likely see a bump in traffic to your website.
Bonus Tip: Only set up accounts on two to three social channels where you know your audience spends time. Any more than that, and you’ll have trouble keeping up with all your accounts (which won’t do you any good if your customers aren’t there).5. Cloud Storage
Storing documents on your computer is so 2010. Now there are cloud-based platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive and Box that allow you to create and/or store documents, photos, videos and more in the cloud. This frees up your computer, helping it run faster. You can also access these documents from anywhere and on any device, as well as share them with others for collaboration purposes.
Bonus Tip: Get into the habit of saving your documents directly to your cloud storage rather than locally and then making a backup copy of them. You’ll free up even more space on your computer. Most come with a downloadable version of the software that will place a folder shortcut in your navigation, which makes storing your documents online a breeze.
These are just a few of the tools that can help you start off on the right foot with your new business. Over time, find other apps and software that can make your work easier, and you’ll have more time to focus on strategizing how to grow your new endeavor!
Business Owner Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "5 Things You Need For Your Small Business Infrastructure" was first published on Small Business Trends
I’m going to be honest with you, I do not know why/if this is funny. Frankly, I’m not sure it makes sense at all.
I was sitting around thinking about washers and dryers (as one does) and trying to come up with a third option and this presented itself. It’s pretty weird.
I think it would work better if “supervisor” ended in “-er” but maybe not.
That being said, this cartoon does make me laugh. I cannot for the life of me explain it, but there you go.
This article, "Are There Any Redundancies in Your Organizational Chart?" was first published on Small Business Trends
Every business owner or professional wants press coverage. It legitimizes your business in the eye of the public. It creates awareness about you and your services. And of course, it makes you feel proud and accomplished.
Press coverage, or simply getting quoted in an article as an expert in your field, is hard to come by. That’s part of why it feels so good and means so much to successfully get press. More importantly, this means you need a strategy for your press efforts from Day 1 inside your business.
Here’s where I believe most people screw up. They shoot for the stars, thinking the only valuable coverage is in big magazines like Inc and Forbes. They draft congratulatory press releases and pay $900 to have them distributed via PRWeb. They cold email journalists at these big magazines and ask for a favor, with nothing offered in return.
It’s all backwards, and unlikely to produce results.
What does work and what I have learned through trial-and-error over many years, is focusing your press outreach on a local level, and creating relationships in advance of desiring coverage.How to Get Local News Coverage
Now, I want to get on all the big websites and bask in the glow of a journalist saying how great I am just as much as anyone else, but you have to start at the beginning. The beginning is local, because local press is mathematically much more likely to take an interest in your story. It doesn’t matter if you are in Seattle or Lawrence, Kansas, the local “pool” is smaller than the national or international pool of Inc and Forbes.
So start local. Think publications like local TV stations, your local version of the business journal and local newspapers. In San Diego, it’s places like the SDBJ and DiscoverSD.com.
The other step is creating relationships in advance. Don’t make your first email to a journalist at your local business journal be something like “Hey! I just launched a new product and you should cover it!” No. Instead, you want to follow people, comment on their articles, and engage in conversation well before you launch that new product.
Think about being in the shoes of the journalist. They get pitched all the time. They want to write about interesting, relevant business news and people in their area (of focus, or geography).
Journalists are also people. They value relationships. They will return a favor if a favor is given. A good friend of mine who is a local attorney and runs Free Legal Aid put it best: “For value shown, value is given.” It’s classic reciprocity. And you have to give first.
Here’s an example. When I was with a private equity firm here in town, I saw that the local journal syndicated press releases from our firm about acquisitions. It wasn’t a story, but it was a mention. I knew that eventually, it’d be great for recruiting and awareness if we had some quotes or even a dedicated article about us published. So I sought out the two contributing writers who covered our field, and started commenting on their stories. One article that graded San Diego an “F” for its investment culture was harsh, in my view, so the journalist and I debated it via email. Then I sent some additional statistics his way to further my point.
It was a good debate, and afterward, I mentioned I was with a firm in town and would love to get together for coffee some time to discuss the climate in San Diego. Once our schedules aligned, we met and chatted for 30 minutes at their office. No big deal, but it put a face with a name, and placed me at the front of his rolodex for any stories about private equity in town. It paid off months later when we had a spotlight done on a deal, and we ended up hiring a new CFO who reached out after reading the article.
In the same vein, my partner at PolicyZip moved back to Kansas City two years ago and slowly struck up a relationship with some of the business journalists there. Once again, when we announce company news or make a recruiting push, we have an outlet with those journalists. It’s not like PR Web where you try to pay money to get attention. It’s relationships, and it’s much better.
Stay local, and plan ahead. You’ll see your press coverage increase dramatically, and have plenty of clippings to mail home to mom and dad.
Republished by permission. Original here.
News Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "The Value of Cozying Up to Your Local News Reporters" was first published on Small Business Trends
The Krystal Company, the brand famous for its iconic square hamburgers, is celebrating National Root Beer Day all week. From August 8 through August 12, Krystal will offer its Root Beer floats at a special price of $0.99 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in participating locations.
The Krystal Float is made with a blend of cold and frosty Barq's Root Beer, plus a scoop of creamy Blue Bunny vanilla bean ice cream.Chains: Krystal
For nine years Wendy's has offered the Baconator, featuring two quarter-pound patties of 100 percent pure fresh beef, six strips of thick-cut Applewood-smoked bacon, three slices of cheese, and a bakery-style bun.Chains: Wendy's
Burger King restaurants are introducing a Tex-Mex twist on its famous Whopper sandwich nationwide with its new Whopperito burger-burrito mash-up. After a local market debut that sparked widespread demand from guests, Burger King restaurants is now taking its Whopperito national at participating restaurants beginning August 15.Chains: Burger King
S&D Coffee Inc. has accepted an offer made by the Cott Corporation to be acquired.
Following the completion of the proposed transaction, S&D will be a subsidiary of Cott, still operating under the S&D Coffee & Tea name. Ron Hinson, at almost 38 years with the company, will remain president and CEO of S&D, and the management team will assume the same scope and responsibilities. Cott, a global, multi-beverage leader, will enable further development and acceleration of S&D’s business model.Chains: S&D Coffee
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a leading fast-casual artisanal pizza chain, has opened its new flagship restaurant in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. Known for its chef-driven recipes, the 150th Blaze restaurant debuts in an architecturally innovative structure that was designed specifically for this location.Chains: Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza
In response to a growing consumer sentiment towards cage-free eggs and the adoption of this policy by several other food service companies, Focus Brands is joining forces with others in the industry and announcing its commitment to sourcing ingredients that contain only cage-free eggs.
While not a large user of eggs or food items with egg as an ingredient, Focus Brands will work with its suppliers to ensure that all of its restaurant menu items will contain only cage free eggs by 2026.Chains: FOCUS BrandsCarvelCinnabonSchlotzsky'sMoe's Southwest GrillAuntie Anne'sMcAlister's Deli
Fort Worth, Texas-based Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, the award-winning, Baja-style, fast-casual Mexican restaurant group, hit a milestone this week with the opening of its 100th restaurant. The 100th Fuzzy's Taco Shop is in Oklahoma City, making it the fifth Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Oklahoma, the third in Oklahoma City, and the first tenant to open in the brand new Chisholm Creek mixed-use development in northwest Oklahoma City.Chains: Fuzzy's Taco Shop
McDonald’s is honoring the spirit of friendship that is at the heart of the Olympic values by celebrating nearly 100 kids from around the world with a once-in-a-lifetime, and first-ever, opportunity to participate in an Opening Ceremony at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The McDonald’s Olympic Kids will walk in the Parade of Nations at Rio’s famed Maracanã Stadium in front of 80,000 live spectators and billions of television viewers worldwide.Chains: McDonald's
Subway, the world’s largest sandwich chain, revealed a bold update to its iconic logo, along with a powerful new symbol. Consumers will catch a glimpse of the new logo in ads airing August 5.Chains: Subway
McAlister's Deli has announced its national partnership with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Throughout the month of August, McAlister’s will turn its famous sugar cookies blue, in support of the organization’s signature color. $0.75 from each cookie sold will support Autism Speaks’ mission of funding scientific research, increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorder, and advocating for the needs of people with autism and their families.Chains: McAlister's Deli