Small Business News: 10 March 2023

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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This week’s SBN roundup includes the startup helping direct-to-consumer businesses boost their subscriber numbers, and why Reddit may be marketing’s best kept secret.

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Smartrr makes subscriptions seamless

Thinking of adding a subscription model to your e-commerce business’s offering? Smartrr1 may be the tool you’re looking for. The startup, which is focused on Shopify sellers for now, allows them to offer customizable subscriptions to their customers, such as a monthly box or a digital membership which unlocks special discounts and deals. The customers have a branded account portal where they can easily manage their order(s), receive points, or see which social media influencers are buying that brand.

“Smartrr is a leader in an emerging ‘post-purchase operating system’ for D2C brands: one integrated software solution that lets brands manage the key moments in the brand and customer relationship,” Harrison Lieberfarb from investor Capital Ventures, said. “When brands with an existing subscription business switch to Smartrr, they see on average a 130% increase in subscribers.”

Globally, the direct-to-consumer market is booming – it’s forecast to reach US$478 billion by 2025, with up to 75% of DTC brands projected to offer subscriptions to their customers this year2.

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Is your customer experience better than your competitors'?

A recent survey found business professionals are prioritizing customer experience over product and pricing. Those surveyed by SuperOffice3 were asked their top business focus over the next five years, with over 45% pointing to CX.

So, what should your business be doing to keep up with competitors in this area? Our 22 golden rules of e-commerce has the answers. From easy site navigation to the power of personalization, discover the secrets to loyal customers.

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Why Reddit should be on your business’s marketing radar

An analysis by Business Insider4 has dived into the valuable marketing potential of Reddit5 for small businesses.

The social news platform – which has the slogan “Dive into anything” – connects visitors with sub-reddits dedicated to, well, anything they’re interested in, where they can chat with a community of like-minded people. It has around 52 million daily active users6 (Oct 2020.)

The sub-reddits provide a way for even the most niche of businesses to find an engaged audience – and for free. "These users are your consumers seeking honest advice and reviews, so it's a great place to meet your target audience when they are likely seeking answers and ready to convert," Jenny Bloom, EVP at Jive PR and Digital, told Insider.

Business Insider highlighted Reddit’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ sub-reddits as the ideal channels for brands to introduce themselves to new users, adding that all content posted “should be community-minded, valuable, authentic, and talk about topics that go beyond meeting a marketing goal.” Furthermore, brands can use Reddit as a good place to find out what trends people are talking about.  

A final piece of advice came from Joe Karasin, CMO of DigitalWill, which has had great success on Reddit. “If you are going to put resources and effort into Reddit marketing, don't take half measures," he said. "Commit to it and be committed for at least six months in order to truly evaluate its effectiveness for your brand."

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Is your return policy up to scratch?

Customer returns – a pain for online retailers to deal with but essential to building brand loyalty. That’s the takeaway from Digital Commerce 360’s survey of over 1,000 consumers7. It found that shoppers increasingly consider a potential return even before they complete a purchase, with 39% considering the cost (with free returns highly valued), whilst one-quarter said the timeframe is important.

So, what can your business do to meet customers’ needs? A clear and robust return policy is the answer. Our guide to writing a small business return policy (with free template!) will ensure you cover the essentials. Given that around two thirds of visitors to your website will check your policy before buying anything8, can you afford not to?

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And finally…a little Girl Boss energy

Wednesday marked International Women’s Day, celebrating women’s achievements across the world and raising awareness of gender discrimination.

One of the leading areas women face inequality is in business, but progress is being made: a study of 2.3 million UK-based small businesses in 2022 found that women run close to 40% of them – up from 32% in 20209.

If this inspires you to stretch your entreprenurial wings, check out some of the women thriving within the e-commerce space. It might just be the push you need!

1 - Smartrr

2 - TechCrunch, March 2023

3 - SuperOffice, February 2023

4 - Business Insider, February 2023

5 - Reddit

6 - Reddit Wikipedia, accessed March 2023

7 - Digital Commerce 360, March 2023

8 - Invespcro, accessed January 2023

9 - Pay, February 2023