The 6th annual “Small Business Saturday” is set for this Saturday, November 28th.
While small businesses should really be celebrated every day of the year, Small Business Saturday gives local retailers a unique opportunity to connect with their most engaged shoppers. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday steals back some of the attention otherwise diverted to big box stores on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
What started as an American Express initiative to encourage consumers to shop small and local during the holiday season has evolved into a Senate-designated event sending millions of people shopping and spending into the billions. It’s “a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities,” according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
American Express already offers several tools, including email templates, social posts, and printable signage, for businesses to promote themselves on Small Business Saturday. Combine these items with the five tips below to make this Small Business Saturday one of your best days of the year (even though you deserve far more!).
- Ramp up social. Get involved in the conversation using#SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall. Make sure your customers know what deals you’ll be offering and make use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest ads to spread the word. Think of a fun social campaign, like a door prize contest or reward for best shopping photo, to stimulate participation. Post in-store signage directing shoppers to your social channels. You might even create your own hashtag!
- Make your website mobile-friendly. Not only will a mobile-friendly website offer a better user experience and foster return customers, it will also increase sales and support your email marketing initiatives. With a mobile website, you can also help customers find your store, contact you more easily, and use digital coupons or loyalty cards.
- Don’t be afraid of email marketing. If you don’t already have an email marketing solution, set up a free MailChimp account for your holiday email marketing campaigns, including one for Small Business Saturday. Adapt these Black Friday email marketing ideas by Shopify for last-minute execution. Create a VIP Customers list for those who spend over a certain amount annually and send them an exclusive offer. Don’t worry – There’s still time to develop, design, schedule, and send!
- Prioritize customer service. Small Business Saturday presents a unique opportunity for small, local companies to really connect with their most loyal customers. For many shoppers, the shopping experience is just as important as the product or service being purchased. Go above and beyond for your shoppers this year – Differentiate your in-store shopping experience to gain an advantage over big retailers and even other small business competitors.
- Use geo-targeting to your advantage. Use geo-targeting on social media to advertise to a local audience on-the-go. If you have a mobile app, enable geolocation to send personalized push notifications regarding coupons, sales, free shipping, and other specials. These notifications, which are triggered by a shopper entering specified vicinity, engage nearby customers and encourage the likelihood of a sale.
Most of all, remember to have fun and thank your #ShopSmall customers!