Main Street Monday — Survey Finds Nearly Half of Small Businesses Do Not Plan to Reopen Physical Stores

November 9, 2020

Caity Roach
Contributing Editor

Main Street Monday — Survey Finds Nearly Half of Small Businesses Do Not Plan to Reopen Physical Stores

A recent survey conducted by website and marketing solutions provider, Bluehost, asked 500 business owners with fewer than 100 employees how they have adapted to ecommerce and adjusted their future business plans. Surprisingly, nearly half (48%) of business owners surveyed said that they do not see a return to brick-and-mortar stores in their futures and only 20%  said that they plan to reopen a physical location in the next year. 

“In an increasingly digital era accelerated by the pandemic, small business owners are adapting their business strategies to focus on online and marketing efforts,” says Bluehost.

Here are some of the other key findings from Bluehost’s survey:

  • 61% of small businesses brick and mortar stores that have remained open throughout the pandemic said that they saw a decrease in sales while 49% of small business online stores reported a boost in sales during the same time frame.

  • 69% of small business owners recognized the importance of an increased online presence during the pandemic. However, only 61% of survey respondents said that they had a website. Over a third (36%) of small business owner respondents said that they intend to increase their social media marketing over the next few months and three out of ten respondents plan to increase communication with customers via email.

  • Three out of four small business owners report feeling optimistic about the future of their company. However, small business owners without digital marketing were found to be less optimistic overall.

  • In the past six months, 39% of small business owners made changes to their website, 31% expanded their social media presence, and 30% increased non-digital marketing efforts.

The pandemic is changing how people shop and interact with businesses in the immediate future. But this unprecedented occasion might impact the habits and expectations of customers for years to come.