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Yodle Insights is a study of 6,000 online consumers and how and why they choose local businesses. With over 28 million local businesses in the US, according to the US Census Bureau, competition in some areas can be fierce, factor in national chains and companies and the competition increases.

How can a local business find, attract, and convert consumers to paying customers?

  • 75% of consumers go online and research a business before deciding to make a purchase from that business.
  • 4 out of 10 consumers use online review sites or Social Media to find new businesses.
  • 27% of consumers who hear about a local business offline still visit the website of that business prior to visiting the business.

Online Presence is Crucial

More consumers are searching review sites and Social Media than conducting a typical online search when looking for local businesses. This means your business needs comprehensive online representation.

Facebook is the most popular site consumers use to research and interact with local businesses. 45% of consumers follow local businesses on Facebook.

In addition to seeking out businesses on Social Media, consumers also want to receive communications through Social Media.

  • 80% of consumers want helpful tips and advice.
  • 76% of consumers want business service updates.
  • 63% of consumers would like to receive invitations to events.

Email Marketing is Key

The study found that local businesses are losting out on ways to effectively communicate with their customers. 69% of customers would like to receive communications via mail from local businesses. However, there is a gap in consumer communication and what local businesses are sharing.

  • 84% of customers would like to receive service appointment reminders.
  • 65% of customers would like to receive personalized communications.
  • 60% of customers could like to receive newsletters.

However, local businesses are not providing these communications.

  • 38% of local businesses provide service appointment reminders.
  • 15% of local businesses are providing personalized communications.
  • 15% of local businesses are are sending newsletters.

The key to attracting and keeping customers is to reach them the way they want to be reached and where they want to be reached. It’s time to update your Social Media strategies and commit to a consistent email marketing campaign.

Local businesses who engage with consumers the way they want will succeed.

(Source: Yodle Insights)

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