4 in 10 Omnichannel SMBs Use eCommerce to Reach New Markets

small business owner

As small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) on Main Street, USA increasingly make their offerings available online, many are looking to digital channels to expand to new areas, PYMNTS Intelligence findings reveal.

graphic, eCommerce

By the Numbers

The PYMNTS Intelligence study “Main Street Health Survey Q4 2023: eCommerce Protects Main Street SMBs’ Bottom Line in a Cooling Market,” created in collaboration with Enigma, draws from a survey of 540 SMBs. The results revealed that, among Main Street SMBs that make sales through online channels, 40% do so at least in part because it enables them to expand to more markets.

The Data in Context

A range of businesses are leveraging eCommerce to expand their reach beyond their brick-and-mortar footprint.

Raina Khumush, director of marketing and digital at the recently revived Buybuy Baby, noted in an interview with PYMNTS that the company is using its digital channels to reach more customers than can be served by its 11 stores (where it once had more than 10 times that). That said, the in-store experience remains key to the company’s business strategy.

“The store experience is still very vital to our customers,” Khumush said. “Parents, gift givers, grandparents still very much like to come into a store, see the full assortment of products that we carry, test things out.”

In the restaurant space, meanwhile, virtual-only locations enable eateries to reach more customers without sinking the costly investment into opening dining rooms. In a 2022 interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Andrew Robbins, CEO of Paytronix, said the TGI Fridays chain was licensing its brand virtually to independent operators to capitalize on its name recognition and grow its geographic footprint.

“TGI Fridays had something like 94% consumer awareness — consumers know the brand,” Robbins said. “But something like only 20% of people can go to a TGI Fridays. That’s 74% that they’re missing on because of physical constraints.”