Small Business News: 2 June 2023

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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This week’s SBN roundup includes how AI is helping marketers deliver the personalization factor, and the leading feature online shoppers look for when choosing a retailer.

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AI powers personalized ad campaigns

With ChatGPT in the news in recent weeks, you might have been considering AI’s potential for your business. A case study of SodaStream may just inspire you to take the leap.  

The American beverage company began experimenting with the technology in 2022, in collaboration with its marketing software provider, Optimove.

“We understood that the current marketing infrastructure we had was not enough,” said Yoed Negri, SodaStream’s director of digital transformation1. “We needed a global overview of our entire [pool] of consumers and their interaction with the brand.”

SodaStream began sending AI-backed personalized recipes to customers based on their previous orders. The results were promising. Across its email campaigns, the company saw a 3%-5% increase in conversions and 15% increase in average order value; whilst SMS text conversion rates were 10%-15% higher compared with email.

How else can AI transform your business? Are AI-powered chatbots the future of customer service? And what about virtual reality? Find out with our report on the upcoming e-commerce trends you should be aware of.

Budget-conscious shoppers turn to BNPL

Amidst the current cost-of-living crisis, more consumers are using Buy Now Pay Later services. Recent data from Adobe2 found that in April 2023, 16% of all online spending in the UK was via BNPL platforms like Klarna and Afterpay. 

“With essential items including groceries and pet products increasing steadily in price since the start of the year, it’s no surprise to see consumers continuing to make use of Buy Now Pay Later services to manage their spending,” Suzanne Steele, Adobe’s VP said3.

The report also highlighted the booming mobile commerce market – noting 61% of all online purchases in April were made via smartphones.

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Small businesses feel the pressure of procurement costs

Amidst global inflation, SMEs are looking for more efficient ways to purchase. In a recent survey of 500 small business decision-makers by Amazon Business4, 61% said staying within budget is a leading priority over the next 12 months.

As a result, 91% cited the ability to find items within their price range as a key factor in growing their business long-term.

So, what can your business do to reduce costs? Check out our guide to optimizing your supply chain for the answers.   

payment apps

Payment choice tops list of online consumers’ wants

How many payment options do you offer your customers at checkout? Because it matters – really matters. In a PYMNTS survey6 of consumers across the UK, the US, Brazil, India, Mexico and the UAE, the “ability to use my preferred payment method” was ranked as the most important feature when shopping online. Nearly half (48.4%) of respondents called it “very or extremely important”.

Other highly rated features were free shipping – something which “consumers are prioritizing more as prices continue to rise” – and an easy to navigate online store.

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And finally…

As we head into summer (seriously, where has the year gone?), a reminder to check out our 2023 e-commerce trading calendar. It’s packed full of this year’s key sales dates to help you prepare your marketing strategies in advance. In addition, we’ve rounded up the best expos and conferences you can attend to sharpen up your entrepreneurial skills. In summary, a calendar full of every date that will help your business thrive!