Online travel gets small business boost

JupiterResearch has found that 79 percent of online small businesses conduct online shopping regularly, making it almost as prevalent as the use of email. Travel purchases score highly. JupiterResearch Reports That 79 Percent of Online Small Businesses Shop Regularly Online for Products and Services

Detailed in a new research report, “Small-Business Online Shopping: Understanding Online Research and Purchase Behavior,” the report offers advice to marketers and suppliers on how to prioritize their tactics to meet the needs of small businesses online. JupiterResearch has found that supplier or brand familiarity and comparison shopping are two main factors affecting purchasing decisions.

“Traditionally, small businesses have bought from suppliers based on ongoing relationships and we have found that they are emulating this same purchasing behavior online,” said Sonal Gandhi, JupiterResearch Analyst and lead author of the report. “Sixty two percent of small business online purchases are influenced by familiarity or an existing on or off-line relationship with a supplier. Comparison shopping, however, also influences almost one-half of the online small business purchases.”

The most growth potential for online purchase lies in those products or services where the value of price comparison and relationship or personal preference holds equal weight. Categories such as advertising/marketing services, financial services, credit cards, vehicles and furniture will benefit most from growing Internet expertise of the small business customer and an effort from the suppliers to make these online transactions easier. Travel currently leads the small-business shopping categories with 71 percent penetration, followed by computer hardware and software and office supplies.

“Companies looking to grow online shopping for relationship-intensive products and services should consider targeting small businesses with tenure of less than two years,” said David Schatsky, President of JupiterKagan. “These newer businesses show the greatest propensity to shop in such categories due to lack of already established relationships with the providers and a high level of comfort with Internet transactions.”

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The complete findings of this report are immediately available to JupiterResearch clients online at www.jupiterresearch.com .
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