Pioneered by American Express corporation in 2010, Small Business Saturday was created in support of the brick and mortar businesses. It’s held on the Saturday right after Thanksgiving.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a huge opportunity for big shopping malls and e-commerce sites to pull in customers, Small Business Saturday offers small and medium businesses an enormous platform to entice quite a few customers around the holiday season to visit, primarily, their physical locations.
As per the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by NFIB and American Express, over 95 million shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2015. In comparison to 2014, the survey reveals there was an eight percent increase in sales last year.
If you’re a small business and aiming to cash in on the shopping spree this year, here are some very useful to tips for you.
Spread the Awareness
If you want to make the most of Small Business Saturday this year, it’s the perfect time to create the buzz around it. You can either use Small Business Saturday signage or window displays at your shop to remind visitors about the big day ahead.
If you’re planning to offer a special discount, be sure to highlight the same on your signage as well.
If you’re an American Express customer, you can go to one of their Small Business Saturday centers and get their Shop Small logos and other merchandise for your promotion. Check out Shop Small Studio by American Express if you’re looking for free personalized resources and promotional tools.
You can also download these ready-to-use materials for Small Business Saturday.
Go Creative with Social Media Strategy
Your social media channels have immense potential to promote your local business for Small Business Saturday. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you need to use hashtags to improve your outreach. However, in order to gain valuable attention from your potential buyers, you need to post creatively with catchy images of your special offers.
Here are some social media marketing tips you could make use of.
Use Hashtags: Hashtags such as #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall and #BuyLocal usually trend on Small Business Saturday. So, be sure to use them creatively to educate and entice prospective buyers to your shop. If you’re looking for some inspiration, follow Shop Small on Twitter and take a look at the most popular hashtags and tweets.
Promote Best Sellers: Promote your best sellers on Facebook prior to Small Business Saturday. Announce if you have any special offers for the day. Some businesses set special hours to offer special discounts in order to create the buzz around their business.
Visit Small Business Saturday Facebook Page to take stock of engagement. This will give you a head-start on how to craft your own Facebook strategy for the big day.
Say it with Pictures: Speaking of promotion, Instagram is an insanely powerful tool to promote your business during Small Business Saturday. Capture images of your shop, happy customers, and top selling products and share them on Instagram in real time to create the awareness around your business.
Update Your Website
If you have a website, be sure to get it ready for Small Business Saturday. Have your web developer run an audit to fix any potential issues before the big day.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Hosting Bandwidth: Depending on your current hosting plan, your website is capable of catering to a certain number of visitors per month. During the holiday seasons, however, you can expect a surge in online traffic. Speak to your hosting company and be certain that your website has the bandwidth to handle a sudden spike in traffic.
Updated Inventory: Keep your online inventory updated to make it easy for your site visitors place order seamlessly. If you’re offering special discounts on any specific items, be sure to highlight them on the homepage under featured products category.
Fast, Secure & Optimized for Mobile: To ensure a happy shopping experience for your prospective buyers, make sure your website is fast and secure and optimized for mobile devices.
Update Store Information: Update your information on popular sites such as Yelp and Google Local. Check Google Map to see if the location of your shop is accurate. Likewise, update your phone number across online directories. You want to make sure customers are able to reach your shop easily.
Extend Business Hours
Opening earlier and staying open beyond regular business hours is a smart way of staying competitive and catering to your customers.
Host an Event
Hosting an event is considered a big incentive for your customers. However, it depends on the nature of your business. For example, if you’re a local coffee shop, you can hire a musician to play music to entertain your customers. Based on the nature of your shop, you can come up with the most suitable idea to host an event.
Small Business Saturday is the perfect day for local shops and small businesses to celebrate their entity. With the marketing tips mentioned above, you can stay prepared for the big day and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.
Have you ever participated in Small Business Saturday? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.