According to the Abacus 2006 B-to-B Industry Insights Report, small businesses continued to be the largest market sector for business direct marketers, accounting for 81% of 2005 b-to-b direct revenue. Roughly 1.1 million contacts at small businesses made a b-to-b direct purchase last year, spending a total of $566 million. Large businesses followed by spending $77 million, while midsize businesses spent $52 million. Abacus classifies small business companies as ones with 1 to 49 employees; mid sized companies 50 to 99; and large sized companies 100-plus.
Although they purchased more frequently, small businesses spent an average of 32% less per transaction than large businesses, with an average order size (AOS) of $191; large businesses had an AOS of $295.
“Overall, the small business market represents significant growth potential for direct marketers,” says Stacey Hawes, vice president of business-to-business services for Lafayette, CO-based marketing services firm Abacus. “But it is also important for marketers to remember that while they hone their strategies to capitalize on the wealth of opportunity among small businesses, they may have to cast a wider net to capture the volume of business equivalent to a single large business customer.”