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What Is The Best Way To Reach Online Shoppers In Boston?

Nov 17, 2020 7:59:22 AM / by Larry Julius

Boston shoppers are expected to spend a record $12.5 billion online in 2020, based on the most recent projections from eMarketer. This would represent year-over-year growth of 32.4%.

During the same period, according to eMarketer, receipts at brick-and-mortar stores have contracted by 3.2%.  Overall, excluding gas and auto sales, e-commerce will account for 20.6% of all retail sales this year.

The Coronavirus pandemic is credited with this seismic shift in shopping behavior as consumers continue to avoid stores and opt for online shopping.

“We’ve seen e-commerce accelerate in ways that didn’t seem possible last spring, given the extent of the economic crisis,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “While much of the shift has been led by essential categories like grocery, there has been surprising strength in discretionary categories like consumer electronics and home furnishings that benefited from pandemic-driven lifestyle needs.”

Even before the onset of the pandemic, 82.1% of Boston consumers had bought goods online over the prior six months, according to Nielsen research. Purchases included clothing, health & beauty products, travel reservations, books, furniture, and groceries.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, advertise on radio, retail sales, retailer, retail store, web traffic, website vistiors, e-commerce, advertise on boston radio, online shopping, attribution

Small Business Advertising In Boston: Consumers Ready To Spend

Nov 13, 2020 6:34:09 AM / by Larry Julius

There is positive news for the 205,000 small businesses in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro area.  A majority of consumers say they are ready to start shopping again.

A lifestyle survey just released from Nielsen indicates 53% of Americans believe that despite the continuing pandemic, life is beginning to normalize, and they are likely to resume typical activities.  Nielsen refers to this majority as "Ready-To-Go".

According to the survey, Ready-To-Go consumers now perceive less risk, feel safer, and believe their cities are emerging from crisis.

The key takeaway for Boston small business owners is that Ready-To-Go consumers are significantly more likely to start shopping within 30 days than the total population.  These buyers, according to Nielsen, are looking to spend on home improvement, professional services, auto parts/repair, shopping, food & dining, and travel.

To capture a meaningful share of the money Ready-To-Go consumers will be spending requires local small business owners to advertise.  By almost every metric, advertising on Boston radio is the best advertising option.

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Topics retail, radio advertising, roi, consumer spending, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, advertise on radio, small business advertising, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store, consumer confidence

Advertising ROI In Boston: Television vs. Radio

Nov 9, 2020 1:11:33 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, significantly more consumers are reached by local radio than by Boston TV.

For Boston small business owners whose marketing budgets have been ravaged by the pandemic, though, the question is which of these media can provide the best return for their advertising investments. An ROI study conducted by Nielsen and commissioned by Cumulus Media | Westwood One provides a conclusive answer.

Between April 30 and May 27 of this year, Nielsen analyzed the sales results of a major retailer who conducted an advertising campaign on both radio and television during that period.  

Using  their Portable People Meter panel of 80,000 consumers, Nielsen measured the purchase behavior of consumers who were exposed to the advertiser's commercials on both radio and television. To learn more about the methodology, click here.

The result of the study indicates that the money invested in radio advertising had a much stronger return than the money spent on TV.

Here are the key findings of the ROI study:

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Topics retail, radio advertising, roi, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store

AVOD: Four Letters Every Boston Small Business Owners Should Know

Nov 2, 2020 2:05:54 PM / by Larry Julius

Before we explain AVOD, it is important to understand SVOD.

Boston small business owners may not be familiar with SVOD, but chances are they let it into their homes and onto their phones.

SVOD is the abbreviation for Subscription Video On Demand. That is the collective name for streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.  For a monthly fee, these services provide commercial-free access to TV shows, original content, and movies.

These SVOD networks are delivered to viewers' phones, tablets, computers, and smart-TVs via the internet and not over-the-air or cable systems.

SVOD makes up a significant part of what advertisers refer to as OTT (Over-The-Top-Television) and CTV (Connected-Television). OTT/CTV is video-programming content that viewers can only watch on smartphones, tablets, computers, smart-TVs, Amazon Firesticks, and Roku Sticks.  Nielsen reports that 94.3% of Boston adults own at least one of these devices.

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Topics best way to advertise, small business owner, small business marketing, television advertising, small business, small business advertising, television, Cable TV, ott, ctv, streaming video, SVOD, AVOD

Advertising On Boston Radio Is Back In The Driver's Seat

Oct 27, 2020 10:28:50 AM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 3,000,000 car radios in the Boston area. On March 24, though, many of these devices became quarantined along with their owners. That was the day when the Governor of Massachusetts shut down the state to slow the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Apple Mobility Index, the Governor's public-safety order caused traffic on Boston roadways to plummet to 50% of pre-pandemic levels.

By the beginning of July, however,  the AMI indicates that traffic in Boston began to exceed pre-Covid levels. The surge in mobility is due, in part, to work-from-home, furloughed, and laid-off employees returning to their workplaces.

According to Nielsen, during the week of April 30, only 39% of adults with jobs were working outside-the-home.  During the week of October 1, though, that number had expanded to 61%.

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Topics consumer spending, small business owner, effective advertising, small business advertising, targeting, vehicle traffic, in-car audio, radio listening, point of purchase, mobility, share of ear

Boston Retail Sales Are Growing. Is It Time To Advertise?

Oct 19, 2020 2:54:49 PM / by Larry Julius

Now would be a good time for Boston small business owners to consider increasing their advertising expenditures.

There are just over 205,000 small businesses in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH metro area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Based on promising retail sales data, the Overall Sentiment Index among local small business owners has improved 33.3% between April 26 and October 12 of this year.

The best news for business owners came from the Commerce Department on Friday when it reported that retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in September.  This is the fifth straight month of gains.

Local retail gains are being powered by improving consumer confidence and a large pool of cash sitting in people's savings accounts.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 101.8 in September, up 17.9% from August. This means consumers are in a better mood to spend. Fortunately, they have money in the bank to do so.

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Topics retail, roi, consumer spending, small business owner, small business marketing, millennials, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store, millennial parents, consumer confidence

Newspaper Advertising In Boston: Advice For Small Business Owners

Oct 14, 2020 1:48:57 PM / by Larry Julius

Boston area business owners are expected to spend $139 million on newspaper advertising in 2020. This will be 35% fewer dollars than were spent in 2019, according to a study by Borrell Associates, a company that analyzes local media expenditures across the country.

Of course, the pandemic is part of the reason advertising revenues have plummeted at Boston newspapers. But, the more significant factor is the sustained erosion of readership.

For example, between October 2017 and March 2019, the Monday-Saturday circulation of the Boston Globe has decreased by 31%. The Sunday edition suffered a 33% decrease.

The Boston Herald has had similar declines as the circulation of both the Monday-Saturday editions and the Sunday edition fell by close to 35%.

Among all advertising media available to small business owners, newspaper's ability to reach adult consumers now lags significantly behind Boston radio, cable, broadcast TV, and social media.

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Topics best way to advertise, newspaper advertising, boston herald, boston globe, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising

Email Marketing In Boston: Tips For Small Business Owners

Oct 5, 2020 6:45:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Boston business owners are forecast to invest $20 million in 2020 on email advertising campaigns to market their goods and services, according to Borrell Associates, a company analyzes ad spending by local companies across the country. 

Borrell predicts overall spending on email marketing by Boston companies is expected to be down by nearly 12% versus last year, primarily due to the pandemic. Regardless, now might be a good time for small business owners to consider engaging current and prospective customers with emails.

"Email is on-fire right now," says Jay Schwedelson, President of Worldata, a company that builds and measures email marketing success for Fortune 100 companies. "Since the start of the pandemic, consumers are spending 22% in their email inbox than they were in January."

Mr. Schwedelson speculates the increase in inbox time is due, in part, to many consumers working from home and depending more-and-more on written communication from co-workers and customers.

"It could also be that consumers are finding comfort in their email boxes rather than from all the noise on social media."

"Either way, email marketing is performing better than ever," says Mr. Schwedelson. "We've studied more than 200 million emails sent over the past 30 days to both business-to-consumer and business-to-business. We found that B2C open rates are up 16% since January, while B2B open rates are 25% higher."

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Topics inbox, open rates, email marketing, email advertising, click through rates, CTR, subject line

Advertise In Boston: Shoppers' Needs Are Changing...Again!

Sep 28, 2020 1:04:15 PM / by Larry Julius

There are over 4 million adult consumers in the Boston area. Collectively, in a typical year, these shoppers would generate $100.9 billion in retail sales. This money would be spent on cars, shoes, fast-food, entertainment, groceries, mattresses, adult beverages, haircuts, makeup, and an over-abundance of other of goods and services. Their money was being spent on both the essential and the frivolous. 

The way Boston consumers spend money changed radically in March as COVID-19 began to spread. Six months into the pandemic, shopping strategies are about to change again.

It started with panic buying. Consumers began ignoring prices and were paying what was ever necessary to ensure the safety, health, and comfort of their families.  According to Nielsen, this sudden spike in demand caused widespread price increases. To put it in perspective, retail prices shot-up in 64% of all product categories stocked in grocery stores.

Almost immediately, advertising messages from local retailers shifted from promises of low prices and convenience to product availability and shopper safety.

Based on new research from Nielsen, consumers' shopping strategies are beginning to shift again. This will require Boston small business owners and retailers to also change their advertising strategies, too.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, roi, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, pandemic

How Boston Small Business Owners Can Boost 2020 Holiday Sales

Sep 25, 2020 8:11:27 AM / by Larry Julius

Boston area shoppers are expected to spend over $18.1 billion during this year's November-January holiday season. This estimate is based on a forecast issued last week by Deloitte, the world's largest business accounting firm.  This spending represents a 1-1.5% increase  versus the same period last year.

How can Boston small business owners best compete for a significant share of the 2020 holiday expenditures?

"Retailers who prioritize customers’ desires for a safe, efficient shopping journey will be the big winners this year," writes Sean Gundz on www.ChainstoreAge.com.

"The holiday season is always a stressful time for retailers, especially the ones that make the majority of their revenue in the short window between Thanksgiving and Christmas," says Mr. Gundz. 

"Within this window is Black Friday, which, along with other big holiday sales events, are going to look a lot different this year. Retailers must accommodate COVID-19 mandates that enable social distancing, minimize surface touching, and actually restrict foot traffic in their facilities. All while trying to optimize sales."

Mr. Gundz says there is no single way to deal with the challenges facing retailers this holiday season. He does offer five tips, though, that every Boston retailer can employ.

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Topics retail, small business owner, small business marketing, holiday shopping, small business, small business advertising, market to parents, parents, retail sales, retailer, retail store, millennial parents, holiday advertising, christmas

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