Despite the many difficulties and struggles they faced in 2020, small businesses have plenty to look forward to this year. The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reported that total e-commerce sales for 2020 were an estimated $791.7 billion, a 32.4% increase from 2019. Total retail sales also were up 3.4% during the COVID-19 pandemic year compared to 2019.1
While not all small business achieved the same positive sales increase, the good news is that as more Americans are vaccinated, retail sales are expected to continue to grow between 6.5% and 8.2% to more than $4.33 trillion.2
Mobile Technologies to Grow Business
Small businesses continue to look for ways to capitalize on this expected economic bounce back, and for many this includes incorporating mobile technology to help their business.
Regardless of their type of business or industry, entrepreneurs and small business owners have a few things in common – they’re risk-takers, tenacious, motivated, creative – and they use wireless technology to conduct business.
Tech tips for small businesses in honor of Small Business Week
In honor of Small Business Week (May 2 – May 8), here are apps and tips to help small businesses succeed in 2021:
- Cloud-Based Unified Communications (aka UCaaS): You can’t be at your desk all the time, but your customers count on reaching you without exception. UCaaS keeps you connected by combining traditional desk phone features with a cloud-based platform that seamlessly moves calls and messages between desk and mobile phones. Look for features like voicemail to email, auto attendant and outbound caller ID (which displays your business number when dialing from a personal phone) to drive your business even when employees work remotely.
- Data Protection Services: Lookout Mobile Security offers protection from malware and phishing attempts, identity theft protection and identity monitoring.
- Electronic Forms: Boost efficiency and reduce paper flow by giving your employees mobile access to the electronic forms they need to serve your customers. Customizable and secure, electronic forms integrate with your office applications so you can quickly dispatch work orders and job details. Save time and money by reducing manual data entry while improving the customer experience and data accuracy.
- Automatic Failover Internet: Your organization depends on internet access — no matter what. A failover internet solution provides a fast, reliable backup that switches your connection to an alternate source when your primary internet fails so you’re never offline or unable to accept customer purchases. Look for a product that offers guaranteed, end-to-end assistance including initial set up and ongoing maintenance.
- Create a mobile-friendly website According to a Google study, 76 percent of people who use their smartphones to search for something nearby visit a business within a day. Ensure that your store’s website is mobile-friendly and has all of the relevant information people want to know. Make sure your store hours are updated and accurate as well.
- Connect with other local shops: Consider cross-promoting special events and offerings where each small business will benefit from the other’s promotions. Since shoppers likely have smartphones in hand, be sure to highlight any promotional offerings in a number of ways to increase visibility. Email blasts, social media posts, flash sales and group texts can all be communicated instantly with mobile devices.
UScellular™ supports small businesses this week and every week by offering a suite of productivity and collaboration solutions to help local entrepreneurs enhance their operations. We built a secure and reliable 5G network in rural and urban environments, with a local presence in your community, plus tools to connect you with your customers:
For more information about UScellular’s productivity solutions for small businesses, contact your local business expert at 1-866-616-5587 or business.uscellular.com/contact.