Internet use continues to trend up as flea market and swap meet vendors and managers become increasingly tech savvy, according to the 2014 State of the Flea Market Industry survey conducted by Sumner Communications (SCIR 2014). Almost three-quarters of the vendors surveyed (67.9 percent) said they prefer to order online, over the phone or through email, and 44.3 percent consider product ads or searches on wholesale websites to be the best source for finding new merchandise.
The 2014 State of the Flea Market Industry survey also found that the majority of vendors are making use of the expanding technologies. This year’s survey shows 74 percent own a smart phone or tablet, up from 57 percent last year. This significant lift of nearly 30 percent year over year reflects the dramatic change in how technology has moved into the small business arena. 88.9 percent are using various apps, including POS, and 75.4 percent said they would like to see a wholesale shopping app hit the marketplace.
Recognizing the power of the Internet as means to connect with shoppers, 48 percent of vendors presently without a website say they plan to launch one in the future. In addition, 42 percent of vendors surveyed have a social media presence, up from 33 percent in 2014. While vendors may be slower to integrate social media, 78 percent of the market owners surveyed have a dedicated website or social media venue to promote their business.
To capitalize on this shift to online research and buying, vendors and managers must stay on top of online resources to better their businesses. PROVENDOR, launched Fall 2012 via Fleamarketzone.com provides several free benefits including flash sales, subscriptions to Merchandiser Group magazines, quarterly newsletters and advisory information on key business topics. To seize opportunities to increase sales, vendors and managers need to leverage market trends, stay abreast of best practices and have access to a network of reliable and dedicated product suppliers. PROVENDOR provides this and more with its free membership.
Utilizing the Internet and online resources has grown considerably for swap meet and flea market vendors when locating and buying merchandise and promoting and running their businesses. This year’s survey reveals there is a huge benefit to being tech savvy in today’s online environment.