Online services and loyalty programs cited as key for small businesses by Gen-Y; Baby Boomers looking for more traditional customer service
Rogers launches national event series and contest to support small business growth in Canada
TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians are loyal supporters of small business today but a generational divide and evolving customer demands could greatly impact this landscape. Today, Baby Boomers and Gen-Y's are both committed to supporting local, Canadian small businesses, but how they choose to interact with them is markedly different according to new research from Rogers, commissioned by Harris-Decima.
The majority of Canadians - over 85 per cent - agree that convenience and personal service are the most important reasons they support small businesses. But new demands from Generation Y - Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 - reveal that small businesses can benefit from offering online services to their customers. More than half of Gen Y (60%) feels that small businesses should operate an e-commerce site and are not currently active enough online, while under 35 per cent of Baby Boomers agree.
"The research reveals that although the majority of Canadians are devoted to small business, generational demands are shifting what's expected from them," said Tess Van Thielen, Director of B2B Strategy and Small Business Marketing, Rogers. "Providing a tailored customer experience allows small businesses to maintain customer loyalty and compete in a crowded market, but more than ever, younger Canadians want around the clock access to their local businesses through online channels and connected technology."
Canadians over 60 are the largest supporters of small businesses, but Gen Y wants more personal and online interaction. Key findings include:
- Baby boomers are the greatest supporters of local business in Canada as almost two thirds (58%) of Canadians over the age of sixty agree they engage a small business at least once a week
- Over half (68%) of Gen Y think it's important for small businesses to offer a loyalty rewards program
- Over half (60%) of Gen Y think it's important for small businesses to offer an e-commerce website
- Over half (51%) of Gen Y think small businesses should have a strong social media presence
Furthermore, research findings show that support for one's local economy and a personal customer experience are important to all Canadians:
- Over half (64%) of Canadians who engage with small businesses do so to support their local economy while others (58%) want a personalized experience
- Over half (62%) of Canadians feel a sense of pride when supporting a small business
- Over half (65%) of Canadians believe that employees at local/small businesses have more knowledge about the products and services they carry
"Small businesses have an opportunity to engage with customers at any time by using the right technology. They just need to know where to start," said Van Thielen. "Our team works daily with customers across Canada to help them choose the right solutions for their business."
This October, the Rogers Small Business Team will support small business month with Rogers Talks, a national series of events that will bring together topic experts to share practical insights and tips with small businesses across Canada. Rogers Talks will host experts in social media, marketing and sales to share knowledge and applicable best practices with attendees. Events will take place in Toronto, Kitchener/Waterloo, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver from October 28th to November 12th and are open to any small business owner or employee. To register, visit www.rogers.com/RogersTalks.
Rogers Small Business Big Idea Giveaway, a national contest that launched today, will award five technology grand prize packages worth $20,000, including mobile devices from Rogers and BlackBerry. Owners of small businesses with up to 99 employees across Canada can enter by sharing how Rogers could give their business a competitive edge at www.rogers.com/bigidea by October, 5th 2013.
For more information about small business offerings from Rogers, or to find a Rogers Small Business Specialist in your region, visit www.rogers.com/smallbusiness.
About Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are Canada's largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high speed internet and telephony services. Through Rogers Media we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, magazines and trade publications, sports entertainment, and digital media. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For further information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit rogers.com.
SOURCE: Rogers Communications Inc.
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