Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at November 24th, 2021
We talk about business funding and fundability, and business credit building a lot. But they’re not just as a means to an end. We also see all three of these areas as pathways to business success. One strong pathway is higher sales. That’s where Small Business Saturday comes in.
American Express created Small Business Saturday (SBS) in 2010. It takes place right after Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is the day major retailers get ‘in the black’ when it comes to their budgets. It is also the unofficial kickoff to holiday shopping.
But Small Business Saturday is meant to be part of the ‘Shop Small’ movement. The intention is to convince consumers to do more of their holiday and other shopping at small businesses. Organizations across the country sign up to serve as Neighborhood Champions. These supporters bring their community together with events and activities on SBS and throughout the year.
Let’s look at some resources to help your business do Small Business Saturday right.
Amex offers customizable posters and other tools for businesses in the following industries:
Plus they offer resources for businesses 100% online or catering to B2B.
There’s an Amex ‘general’ toolkit as well. It includes three printable images. There are three social media posts for Facebook, Twitter, and the like. And there’s one larger good quality poster.
In 2020, Big Commerce made several predictions on how SBS would go that year. With the Delta variant surging, the 2021 holiday shopping season is looking a lot like 2020. Hence the predictions may still be valid.
Even without stay at home orders, consumers may voluntarily want to stay inside more. This can be out of an abundance of caution or concern for the health of loved ones. And what do they do when they’re stuck indoors? A lot of them go shopping online.
Baby boomers and Gen X, in particular, love online sales. In 2020, Facebook Business found that 80% planned to Christmas shop online at least to some extent. Adobe predicted that search engines like Google would drive 46.5% of 2020’s online shopping revenue. And Adobe also said social media would drive awareness but not sales.
This means you want to amp up your holiday SEO. Invest in seasonal content. Perform keyword research on holiday phrases. And create landing pages for any holiday and seasonal offers.
Last year, stimulus checks drove at least some spending. But consumers may still be keen to pamper themselves, even if they don’t have an extra few thousand or so to spend. And even if extra unemployment payments have stopped.
Creating landing pages is one great way to bring customers in. You can create a landing page focusing on just, say, your newest product line. Give every bit of information you think customers would want to know. Like prices, colors, shipping costs, size choices, and more.
Use high resolution photography showing off your wares to their best advantage. Even purely service businesses can photograph their location or staff.
Customers with long lists will love what is essentially one-stop shopping. And of course you want it to be easy to add an item to their carts, and check out. Also, make it easy for customers to get in touch if they have questions.
You can also reposition your products and services around the holidays. Or create bundles of related products at various price points. Like adding grooming products to an attractive basket or tin and calling it a spa sampler. Or bundling products and services like a coupon for a percentage off a haircut with one for a free manicure and one for a free bottle of nail polish or a high-end hairbrush and calling it a day of beauty.
In 2020, the supply chain was disrupted. Again, 2021 is looking a lot like 2021. As a result, consumers are checking online more than ever. They may also be more amenable to accepting second choices. Or they may be open to trying something new.
Consumers may also want to support businesses which support their values. For example, these can be Black-owned businesses, or women-owned businesses. Per Facebook Business, nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed were open to new products during the holidays.
Got a new customer’s email address? Then why not send them a coupon for a certain percentage off their next purchase? And consider a single question upon checkout. Here’s one: Where did you learn about us?
But Small Business Saturday also comes with some challenges.
We tend to see a lot more ads for Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, than for SBS. Will your customers forget the date?
Add website banners, even months in advance. Ask your local Neighborhood Champions for support and ideas. Set up ad retargeting on social media. Consider a delivery strategy of buy online, pick up in store, to get customers in the door.
How do you convince customers to shop from you and not bigger stores? How do you stand out from the competition? Smaller businesses tend to not have a lot of wiggle room to slash prices. So how do you get customers to choose you?
Try hosting online events, or add a personalized note to a delivery. or put customer service front and center. And consider working with other small businesses in the area. Your discounted pedicure could work perfectly with a coupon from a nearby shoe store.
So, SBS is a creative way to bring in customers and help kick off the holiday season. You can make yours more successful with some digital sprucing up, and smart product and service repositioning. Partnering with another local business is another winning strategy.