The holiday shopping season will be here before you know it, and that also means Small Business Saturday® is just around the corner. Founded by American Express in 2010, we’re proud to support the 10th annual Small Business Saturday this November 30 – a holiday shopping tradition and part of a nationwide Shop Small® Movement dedicated to helping all kinds of small businesses like yours.
Over the years, Small Business Saturday has continued to make a significant impact on consumer shopping and spending habits. In fact, in 2018, consumers reported spending an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.*
We want to make sure you don’t miss out on an excellent opportunity to reach new customers and promote your business on this big day. So, mark your calendars and check out these five marketing tips for Small Business Saturday to help you get ready.
1. Offer deals and promotions
While this tip may be obvious, we can’t stress it enough: a good sale can make a difference during Small Business Saturday. Many shoppers are determined to seek out new and exciting shops on this big day, and a compelling offer can incentivize them to choose your store over a competitor. Use this time to offer a deal or promotion on products – it could be a great way to attract new customers and maintain your trusted and positive relationship with existing ones.
2. Promote yourself
For every company that attracts people through million-dollar advertising campaigns, there’s a small local store that draws people in with a local digital campaign. On Google, for example, feature your business’ location and contact information by setting up a Google My Business Page. This can increase your visibility on Google from searches that reference your business, product or service or “near me” results. You can also set up local search ads to ensure your business is discovered even more frequently.
And don’t forget about social media. Make sure you’re promoting your business on Facebook and Instagram. Visit the Shop Small Studio at AmericanExpress.com/Participate to customize free downloadable marketing materials for your business.
In addition to digital promotion, a small business can draw in passersby with chalkboard sidewalk signs, which are great at grabbing the attention of window shoppers. Decorations and window displays can have the same eye-catching effect.
3. Work with other local businesses or governments
Many local chambers of commerce help promote small businesses with family activities like scavenger hunts. While the kids are off searching for the next clue, their parents are in your store, shopping for the holidays.
In some towns, though, local initiatives or promotions aren’t available. That’s why it’s important to collaborate with other merchants to promote your business. You can work together on marketing campaigns — American Express featured the story of a group of businesses that held a “selfie contest”—or cross-promote with flyers and handouts.
4. Stock up
For many merchants, the holiday season is when they make their money. Even if it’s not your most important day of the year, you must be fully stocked for Small Business Saturday.
Make sure you stock up on popular items and gift cards. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend an estimated $53 billion annually on gift cards. No matter what, be prepared for the rush that may come through your doors in late November.
5. Prepare your employees
Small Business Saturday and the holiday shopping season is a busy time of year. Make sure you communicate with your staff. Train the team on your top-selling products. If you need to hire temporary employees, now’s the time. And, after Small Business Saturday, encourage your team to push through the holidays and into the new year.
*Estimate based on projections from a nationally representative sample of adult consumers’ self-reported data from a 2018 Amex and NFIB-commissioned survey.
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