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Small Retailers to Allocate 43% of Ad Budget to Digital Media

BIA/Kelsey bases projections on advertising, marketing trends survey

Retail SMBs, which are small and medium-sized retail businesses, want to use more digital media.

That’s according to a new study on advertising and marketing trends from BIA/Kelsey.

Retail SMBs surveyed reported they planned to spend 43% of their total ad budget on digital media in the 12 months following the survey. This puts retail SMBs at the same high level of digital allocation as franchise SMBs, which reported plans to spend 42.9% of total ad budget on digital.

“Going forward, retail SMBs register an interest in many advertising and marketing services, particularly e-commerce services, online satisfaction surveys, email marketing, online leads management and business software in general,” said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. “We believe this is consistent with their solid base in email marketing — they’ve got the foundation in place, and now they’re ready to add more sophisticated and powerful services.”

Mobile is increasingly important to these SMBs. Although they’re using mobile only in modest numbers so far (with the highest penetration of any mobile format at 11.4%), overall they report they’re very happy with the performance of mobile.

“The high level of satisfaction suggests that retail SMBs will expand their use of mobile going forward,” added Marshall.

For this survey, BIA/Kelsey defined small businesses as those having between 1 to 99 employees. The retail SMBs included in the survey were retail shops and stores, hair salons, beauty salons and barber shops. Salons are included because a significant portion of their net sales are generated from sales of hair products.

The trends identified in the report will be among those shaping the program for this fall’s BIA/Kelsey SMB conference, Big Ideas for Serving Small Business, which takes place Sept. 29–30, in Denver.