Small Businesses' Preferred Holiday Marketing Channels, September 2014 [CHART]

As the most wonderful time of the year inches closer every day, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are sprucing up their digital efforts to make the most of the holiday selling season. And they’re feeling positive while doing so, based on a September 2014 study by Volusion, which found that 76.4% of US small-business owners (SBOs) were at least somewhat optimistic that they would generate more online sales this season than in the same period in 2013.

SBOs highlighted several tactics they planned to use to push consumers to purchase on their sites. Tops was making it as easy as possible for shoppers to complete a transaction, with 25.5% saying streamlining the checkout process was the primary strategy they would implement to improve customer conversions during the holiday season. Offering shipping discounts—a year-round standby for many—came in a close second, cited by 23.1% of SBOs. SMBs also won’t forget personalization this holiday season. Nearly one-fifth intended to retarget shoppers with personalized emails, and 15.1% said personalized deals and offers were the primary way they would push customers to convert.

How do they plan to grab customers’ attention? Social media marketing was the most preferred channel for holiday marketing, cited by 34.5% of SBOs. Search engine optimization came in second, with nearly one-quarter of responses, while email marketing was right behind this. Read the rest at eMarketing.