Sanity over sales priority for Kiwi businesses this Christmas

17 Dec 2013

Almost a third confident of a better Christmas periodOnline sales strategy still lacking

Local businesses are more focused on retaining their sanity than making sales this festive season – though many are confident of improved revenue, according to New Zealand’s largest accounting software provider, MYOB.

A survey of businesses across the country in early December shows the key focus for the Christmas and New Year period for the majority (51%) is “getting through the workload with my sanity intact!” Top focus areas for the remaining respondents included sales of products and services (7%), customer acquisition strategies (6%), and staffing levels (6%).

MYOB Executive Director Scott Gardiner says the seasonal workload is a bittersweet challenge for both business owners and staff in the busy weeks leading up to the holidays.

“It can seem tough just to make it ‘across the line’ to Christmas, especially with so many demands on your time and the break setting a deadline on getting many things done,” says Mr Gardiner. “It’s important to not lose sight of the opportunities to make sales and reach new customers, especially if you can do it in the most efficient and cost effective way possible: online.”

According to the survey, only 9% of local businesses have a special marketing campaign underway for Christmas, despite over 60% saying they could benefit from Christmas sales.

Further, only 9% have a website with e-commerce capability, while a further 9% have a website but are yet to enable e-commerce functionality. Of those businesses, 41% expect to make up to 10% of their sales online through this period, while 23% are forecasting around quarter of their sales to be made online.

“What was particularly surprising about the survey is how few local businesses are still to take advantage of e-commerce opportunities,” Mr Gardiner said. “Unfortunately, this means they’re overlooking significant sales and marketing benefits, both to reach customers in an easy and cost effective way, and to ease the stress on themselves and their staff.

“Online sales is an area where we believe many local businesses are missing out – particularly against international competitors. You’ve only got to open your email to see how much fuss international retailers make of the online sales opportunities at Christmas.

“So, if you’re struggling to keep your balls in the air over the summer selling season, why not see if adding a digital dimension will take some pressure off and provide great new opportunities in 2014.

Despite the lack of online presence, the survey highlights most businesses will enjoy a solid Christmas.

“The survey is good news for local businesses and the economy,” says Mr Gardiner. “With 29% expecting an revenue increase and 58% forecasting the same as last Christmas, we’re setting up for a happy New Year.”

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB website, or its blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube sites.

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, customer service and more visit the The Pulse blog, MYOB Twitter, MYOB Facebook or visit our recently updated MYOB New Zealand YouTube Channel.

-ENDS-

For further information or immediate comment, please contact:

Kristy Sheppard

MYOB

Tel: 09 925 3560Mob: +61 407 450 860

Email: kristy.sheppard@myob.com

Gerard Blank

The Agency Communications Limited

Tel: 03 341 5841Mob: 0275 243 629

Email: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

About MYOB New Zealand

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than NZ$35 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.co.nz.