KETTERING, OHIO– March 3, 2021 –
Thrive Analytics, a digital marketing research and customer engagement strategy consulting firm, released its latest Local Pulse Report™, highlighting key small and medium-sized small business trends. The study, conducted on 31,125 businesses over January and February, reveals that optimism is starting to improve, and business owners are looking to move past COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Most business owners in moderately affected business segments feel they will be back to pre-pandemic sales levels by the second half of this year. Harder hit segments, like hospitality and travel, feel it will be well past this year before they get back to normal. When asked about the most significant challenges their businesses face over the next few months, managing cash flow (60 percent) and getting customers back (48 percent) were among the top reasons.
TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION WILL CONTINUE TO GET A BOOST
A third of small businesses had to adopt new technology or upgrade existing technology to operate in the COVID-19 environment. Workplace productivity (45 percent), communication (40 percent), payment processing (38 percent), and e-commerce/website upgrades (35 percent) were top areas of investment. This trend is expected to continue. Seventy percent of business owners stated they felt these new technologies were critical to their success.
Top areas for investment this year include payment processing (35 percent), sales/ordering tools (33 percent), and financial tools (28 percent).
Thrive Analytics’ 2021 Local Pulse Report™ is a comprehensive study covering SMB outlooks, marketing budgets, technology adoption, challenges & opportunities for marketing service providers, satisfaction levels with products, and more.
Other critical findings from the 2021 Local Pulse Report™ include:
LOCAL PULSE REPORT™ METHODOLOGY
The Local Pulse Report™ is a syndicated research program that monitors how small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are marketing their businesses, the technology they are using, their future expectations, what they want out of marketing service providers, and it explores the behaviors/trends that are influencing their decisions as business owners.
The primary waves of the research are conducted every six months. In 2020, a modified version of the surveys was conducted each month, with at least 1,000 business owners being interviewed. These modified waves were to track the impact COVID-19 pandemic.
The most recent primary wave was conducted in January-February 2021.
The full study is available to Thrive Analytics research subscribers, and a databook is available for purchase.
ABOUT THRIVE ANALYTICS
Thrive Analytics is a leading local search and digital consulting firm specializing in combining targeted marketing research and data analytics with actionable customer engagement strategies for improved business results. With clients spanning leading national brands as well as publishers and agencies serving the small business community, Thrive Analytics pairs proprietary market research services and data analytics tools with time-tested business insights and methodologies to help organizations measurably improve customer experience, loyalty, and sales results. Founded in 2010, Thrive Analytics is a privately held company headquartered in Kettering, Ohio.
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