Small Businesses Shop on Web, Buy in the Branch
A new Forrester Research report says financial institutions should target small businesses through the Web to attract their business, because that’s where most begin the search for services. The study asked, "Before applying, how did you research the financial product of your business?"
The research and advisory firm surveyed a group of small business owners and found that 36% of online small business owners who applied for a business-related financial product in the past year researched the product online. As for actually applying for the product, 47% did so in person at a branch or office.
The think firm concluded that to effectively market themselves to small businesses online, a financial institution needs to understand their potential customer or business services member. That includes insight into how they choose financial products, as well as through what channel.
Targeting also should include what types of businesses to focus on, something perhaps best arrived at by looking at their existing small business clients and segmenting them by such metrics as employee size, revenue and the extent to which their business is cash based, Forrester said.
The data was gathered in a North American Technographics Financial Services Online Survey, Q4 2010.