Online sales a boost for regions

Insights shared by Spark around where Kiwis head to during holiday breaks is proving to be a valuable resource for small businesses preparing for an influx of visitors to their town.

Sally Gordon, small business communications manager for Spark, says holiday breaks provide an opportunity for businesses to make a connection with their customers – which doesn’t have to end when they leave town.

“There are many examples of small and medium businesses right across the country thriving with the help of successful web and social media strategy making them accessible from anywhere, at anytime”, Gordon says.

“If you think about it, this really encapsulates the Kiwi innovation mentality. We are a nation of entrepreneurs, so geographical location shouldn’t be a barrier to success.”

Qrious insights, which are based on anonymised, aggregated customer data, show that over Easter weekend in 2015 one holiday hotspot, the Bay of Plenty, had an additional 33,560 visitors from our three main centres – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

During this period Tauranga experienced a 62% spike in daily mobile data usage.

 

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Important to be tech-savvy

Being tech-savvy is something that CANSTAR Bank of the Year –Small Business Award winner, BNZ, encourages all businesses to be.

“We believe key opportunities lie in embracing technology,” said a BNZ spokesperson.

“Technology is evolving rapidly and can have a significant impact on the day to day running of their business.  It can speed up processes, reduce time and sometimes the need for dedicated resource, particularly administration, and help with managing cash flow and connecting with new and existing customers.  Mobile payment devices are now an affordable way to manage cash flow by collecting payments on the spot, reducing dependence on invoices and chasing debtors.

“Having an easy to update website and links in to social media is also important.  It’s an affordable way to market their business and provides the ability to connect directly with customers which can increase sales and feed in to product or service development.”

Being connected pays off

For the owners of Mt Maunganui based design store Paper Plane, Timothy John and Krista Plews, visitors from outside the region provide an opportunity to make a lasting impression.

“Mt Maunganui is a popular hotspot so the new number of new faces to Paper Plane increases significantly over Easter. This is a time where our physical store really flourishes”, Plews says.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to promote our online store during the long weekend which customers can then access from any location at anytime, helping us to maintain and build our relationships with these customers.”

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