Why We Need Small Business Saturday To Remind Us To Shop Local

We are all encouraged to shop local and with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, but shouldn't we be doing it more than that? Perhaps every day?

Small Business Saturday has become a bigger deal over the past few years encouraging us all to use smaller, independent businesses as part of our Saturday shopping. It falls the day after Black Friday, another trend the UK imported from the US and sends many into a Christmas shopping frenzy. But why do we need a day to tell us to remember the smaller traders out there? And why just retail?

The truth is, the economy is heavily reliant on small business yet focus is often shifted to the big players on the high street. Many of us forget the little guys when we go out shopping and just head to our nearest supermarket or shopping centre full of multi-national big name retailers. And this is also true for many non-retail businesses. We forget the little guy that probably lives on our street.

How often do we show love for the small businesses around us?

Love They Neighbour

We all do it. Look for the cheapest option or search online for services that are probably available right on our doorstep. How often have you asked your friends and family if they know anyone that can help? Do you post to your personal Facebook page when you need a job doing to see if anyone you know can help? We are all guilty of neglecting those that we actually know in real life when it comes to our business services. Now, more than ever we need to change this. The world we live in is changing faster than ever and with the impending Brexit the way we shop and the services we use are going to be brought into more focus.

The Autumn Statement in the UK was released a few days ago and already we know that prices are going to go up in 2017 and the economy is going to be shaky. This isn’t great if you’re an already struggling business. Even less great if you’re a small business that is struggling to attract local trade. But the onus now more than ever is on all of us to look at our local economies and do what we can to support it. Just think about that for a minute. If every single one of us made more of an effort to spend our money locally, the individuals we could all support.

We are all encouraged to shop local and with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, but shouldn

The freelance economy is growing fast

Who Do You Support?

When we support the small businesses, sole traders, freelancers even side hustlers around us what we actually do is;

Put food on the tables of people you know

Helping a kid, who probably goes to school with one of your kids, take up a hobby, dance lessons, judo, swimming, football.

Helping a local family pay their mortgage

Creating local jobs for local people

Giving someone the opportunity to follow their passion

Doing your bit for the environment

When you shop at independent, locally owned, small businesses, 52% of what you spend stays within your local economy.

Not Just Once A Year

I kind of have a problem with the whole term, Small Business Saturday. I totally believe in the concept but I don’t think all this focus should be given to just one day in a year. Why can’t we have it once a month? Once a week? Why can’t it be an ongoing initiative to encourage it every day? If we are only reminded once a year to shop local then we are not going to get into the habit of doing it. We need reminding daily to make it a habit that we get used to and it becomes second nature.

We each need to make an effort to think more when we shop. Brexit is going to limit a lot of our global business trading. Once over I used to preach that having a business online meant you could do business anywhere. For some, this will change. Import and export are going to change. Embrace that change and shop local more.

We are all encouraged to shop local and with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, but shouldn

Shop Where?

So now I’ve convinced you to shop local more, what kind of things can you spend your money on?

Jewelery made by a local craft person

Cakes from a local baker

Products from an MLM your neighbour is operating

Floral displays from an independent florist

Get your hair cut from a local salon owner

Fresh fruit, veg, meats, cheese at a farmers market

For business services, the freelance economy is growing and you can find individuals to do all manner of tasks in your business either from your premises or in their own homes. Many businesses just look on freelancer website for these services but chances are you may know someone that can help. Or someone you know might know someone. Before you Google bookkeeping services, ask your friends if they know anyone. Need a website? Ask on Facebook. Fully aware that you need to get to grips with your online presence and your social media marketing? Yep, that’s what I do. Why don’t you ask me if I can help you?

Do you work for a large company that struggles to recruit for some positions? Why don’t you suggest outsourcing some of the work to local freelancers or other smaller businesses?

Make Small Business Saturday Everyday

We are all encouraged to shop local and with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, but shouldnSo this Christmas rather than heading to your local huge retail park and shopping in the same old multi-national stores, why don’t you make an effort to visit a local craft fair or farmers market? And then keep on going back. Find out who amongst your Facebook friends runs their own small business or works freelance. You might not need them now but someday they might be able to help you. Keep an eye on your social media feeds for people you know advertising what they do or what they sell. Make an effort to recommend people you know to others. If you network within your local business community, keep in mind your neighbour that might be able to help someone you network with rather than dismissing the contact because they can’t help you.

Another reason why you need to shift your focus to smaller, local business is that within the next 5-10 years around 38% of all jobs will be replaced by robots. That’s a lot of people that will be out of work unless they futureproof themselves. It will be the big global businesses that start to do this first so it will be even more vital that we all support the smaller business that will help to create future jobs. Every action that happens within large industries has a knock on effect for many other smaller businesses. If we all start to shift our focus now we can help smaller business to grow and weather future storms.

Between Brexit and robots business will completely change very soon. Let’s be ready for it and start supporting each other more rather than helping to buy more yachts for CEO’s.

And you’ll always get far better service from the actual business owner. Guaranteed.

New Gift Card Winner 12 pm + More Winners Coming!

winner-purple-big

It’s time to announce our 12 pm Winner! More winners throughout the entire weekend, Saturday & Sunday! Go see if you won: Winners List

We’re giving away free gift cards today & all weekend long! To enter, just comment anywhere on CouponsandFreebiesmom.com – Click Here (more comments = more chances to win) & Join us on Facebook Live- Click Herewhere we will be giving away gift cards all day & weekend long! Plus, sign up for our daily freebie emails for more entries!

The post New Gift Card Winner 12 pm + More Winners Coming! appeared first on Coupons and Freebies Mom.

       

 
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The Average Mobile Apps’ Ratings and Reviews, by Category

It’s no secret star ratings impact the discoverability and conversion of apps, and companies’ overall brand image. But how has their impact changed over the years, and how can today’s mobile marketers understand how they’re doing in a crowded sea of apps?

To answer these questions and more, we dug into data from around 1,000 of Apptentive’s customers’ mobile apps to come up with benchmark metrics for companies to measure their mobile apps’ performance (you can see the full report here). Data included in the report serves as a benchmark for companies seeking to understand how their apps’ engagement stacks up against their competition, along the entire mobile landscape.

In today’s post, we take a deep look into how ratings and reviews impact an app’s discoverability based on looking at apps across all categories and drilling down into specific app store categories. From our findings, we hope you’re able to take our benchmarked view of the mobile app landscape to understand how your own app is performing, and uncover opportunities for improvement.

Let’s dive in!

Average ratings across all app categories

Star ratings play a big role in the customer adoption process, and data from our research on the value of a star revealed 59% of people usually or always check ratings before downloading an app-even if everything else checks out.

In addition, the opportunity cost of a star is huge. Take a look at the image below to see how a change in your average star rating will impact your app store conversion.

The opportunity cost of a star

From our research, we found that the average volume of ratings across all app categories is 355,045 with majority subsisting of 5-stars. This trend shows that most apps are driving the right types of reviews toward the app stores, but that there is still room for improvement.

Average breakdown of star distribution between all ratings

Average ratings by app category

To truly understand how ratings and reviews impact app discoverability, we took it one step further and broke our data down into app category. As you can see from the chart below, all apps are not created equal when it comes to their category; Lifestyle apps dominated the pack in average number of reviews, while Entertainment, Shopping, and Food & Drink apps tailed closely behind. The fifth most popular app category was Productivity, although on average, apps in this category only have a fraction the reviews we see in the most popular categories.

Average number of reviews

Potentially even more interesting than the average number of reviews across app categories is the distribution of ratings across categories. Below, we see the percentage of one to five-star reviews apps typically see, broken down by app category.

When it comes to five-star ratings, Food & Drink apps took first place, even though they have, on average, fewer reviews than apps in other categories. Shopping and Lifestyle apps were a close second and third, followed by all other app categories.

Looking at one-star ratings, Entertainment apps were the top offender, with one-star ratings significantly higher than apps in other categories. Productivity apps came in second for highest number of one-star ratings, followed by all other app categories.

Ratings and reviews distribution

The solution for better ratings and reviews? Prompting intelligently.

As our data shows, there is always room for improvement when it comes to your app store ratings and reviews, regardless of app category. But encouraging ratings and reviews at the right time within your mobile experience can be a challenge, no matter what industry you’re in. Based on the above research and beyond, our big tip to improving your app’s ratings and reviews is to prompt customers intelligently.

The vast majority of your customers genuinely enjoy your app. Yet, with the exception of a small minority who really love your app and want to invest the time to give you props, this group has little incentive to leave a review. They like your app but have little to say beyond: It just works. When everything works as expected, we don’t notice the elegance of the design. Yet, when we find a broken link or any other hiccup in the interface, we experience frustration. We know that something is wrong. Suddenly, the interface emerges from the background and leaves a conscious impression.

The truth is, apps are held to a very high standard. We expect them to work perfectly and have little motivation to review an app that simply meets our expectations, no matter how high those may be. It is only when apps fall short of our expectations that we put them under scrutiny. And to get better ratings and reviews, we have to put positive experiences under the same scrutiny. We have to bring the user interface, mechanics, and other background elements to the surface and proactively nudge customers to consider their experience.

At Apptentive, we’ve found the best way to do this is by asking a simple stop question: Do you love this app?

Do you love this app?

When this question flashes across a customer’s screen, they’re forced to pause and consider their experience, asking themselves:

  • What are my expectations for this app?
  • How well does this app meet those expectations?

If they’re like the majority of customers who find that your app “just works,” they’ll now recognize what a blessing this is and how a seamless, natural experience allowed them to use the app to fulfill their needs rather than spending time confused, lost, or frustrated. These customers are your fans. They’ve self-selected into a pool of evangelists and have no reason to leave you anything other than a five-star review, making them the perfect group to solicit reviews from.

Those who have considered these questions but recognized some shortcomings in your app are your sources of feedback. They’ve evaluated your app, know what they’re looking for, and can tell you where your app could use improvement. When this type of feedback surfaces, it typically takes the form of a one-star review. These reviewers don’t hate your app, but they want more, and have ticked the one-star box to mark their message as important in the hopes that it will reach a developer’s eyes.

Now, with your customers segmented into your fans and your sources of feedback, all you need to do now is to direct them to the most appropriate communication channel.

Your fans have nothing but positive feedback. These are your prime reviewers who can take that feedback and share it with the world in the form of a public review. Your feedback sources have mixed reviews that deserve acknowledgment. You want a channel where you can engage with these customers one-on-one, hear out their feedback, and start a conversation to dive deeper into the valuable insights they have to offer. For this feedback, a one-way channel like the app stores will do little to improve anyone’s experience. Instead, you want something more personal (like email or in-app chat), where you can give the feedback the attention it deserves.

In conclusion

The benchmarks covered in this post are meant to provide a better understanding of how your app’s ratings and reviews measure up to the industry as a whole. Collectively, these metrics provide a holistic view of how engaged your mobile app customers are with your brand, and will help you identify your app’s fans and sources of feedback in order to intelligently ask for their thoughts within your app.

I hope you can leverage the data from our report to help influence your ratings and reviews strategy, allowing you to gather better feedback from your customers, and to hopefully improve your chances at discoverability within the app stores. See you at the top of the charts!

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