Small Business Saturday occurs every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. As one of the busiest shopping days of the year, many businesses rely on people to shop small as a large source of their sales around the holidays.
This year, the shopping holiday continues to be a crucial selling day as businesses are still grappling with the negative business effects of COVID-19. This year’s Small Business Saturday, of course, may still look a little different. But, you can still make the best of it by taking advantage of digital tools to get shoppers’ attention and boost sales!
Check out some of our tips below for ideas and inspiration for a successful Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27!
Get help from the big dogs
While it may sound like an oxymoron, multi-billion dollar financial company American Express actually founded Small Business Saturday in 2010. The United States had just experienced the Great Recession, and small businesses were struggling. So, American Express started the holiday as a way to encourage people to patron local shops. Just a year later, the Senate passed a resolution to officially recognize the day.
11 years later, American Express still heavily promotes Small Business Saturday and supports the businesses that want to participate. It offers ready-to-use resources such as posters, social posts, and other customizable materials. Additionally, the company offers other tips and resources to support your business. You can even add your business to its Shop Small map to make it easier for customers to find you!
Last year, at the height of the pandemic, American Express also offered COVID-19-specific materials to help businesses stay safe while serving customers. Many of which may still be applicable for your business this year as people continue to want to shop safe.
Make your products accessible online
In the U.S. and Canada, e-commerce orders skyrocketed nearly 150% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Commerce Insights. Even if you don’t have a functional, user-friendly website, you have other options to sell online.
Post your products on Instagram or Facebook. Then, encourage your followers to comment on the post to claim the product. Both of these platforms also offer direct selling options if you want to create a virtual storefront and catalog within the app!
Clean up your search presence
Even if your products aren’t shoppable online, it will still likely be the first place people will look for more information on your business. So, it’s a good idea to set up a Google My Business account if you haven’t yet. Doing so allows your potential customers to easily find your location, phone number, hours and other relevant information you want them to have easy access to. If you have a website and/or social media, make sure the information listed is updated and consistent across all platforms, too.
These are a few of the simplest actions to take to make sure you’re Small Business Saturday ready. But, if they go overlooked, it can greatly damage the promotion of your business and lead customers elsewhere if you’re not easily accessible.
Promote on social media
Join in on the conversation by posting to social media! Try using relevant hashtags like #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday, along with localized hastags, like your city or specific neighborhood (such as our neck of the woods, #DowntownSGF!) Sharing updates throughout the day, like how many of each product you have left or special deals only available for a limited time, can also help build immediate interest and desire for your products.
Furthermore, you can leverage customers’ social media as even more promotion. For example, when they share a photo using your product and tag your business in the post, you could offer 15% off their next purchase. Activations like this not only help you to reach a larger audience, but also establish a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers.