Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just for big box stores and Amazon, small businesses are getting into the mix with Small Business Saturday. American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 to support small local businesses. The day of local shopping has picked up some serious steam since then with 112 million people spending $15.4 billion at independent businesses in 2016. Whether you have a small, local business or an online shop, you should be participating in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. All three are huge shopping days but there are some unique ways you can capitalize on Small Business Saturday in particular.
Potential customers might line up outside Walmart or Best Buy right after they’re done with Thanksgiving dinner for the Black Friday doorbusters, and they might plan to spend Cyber Monday on the couch recovering from all of that family time while browsing through the endless deals on Amazon, but you can hit a sweet spot on Saturday with people who love to spend money at small businesses.
Here’s how you can take advantage of Small Business Saturday:
Start Promoting Early.
Let your customers know about Small Business Saturday early in the month. Explain to them that SBS helps to support local small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. American Express provides plenty of customizable marketing materials to help promote the event. You can also create your own graphics to share on social media, email, on your website and print to hang signage and flyers in your store. Another great idea is to get postcard sized flyers printed that you can add to every order and give to each customer.
Host a special event.
Make Small Business Saturday exciting by hiring a band, offering snacks and refreshments, or teaming up with other small businesses in the area to throw a small street festival. Making the day more of an event can encourage customers who might decide to skip it to turn up and shop. You can do a sip and shop event, or have fun activities for kids while their parents shop, there are plenty of fun and unique ways you can make your business stand out.
Offer a discount.
Many people who choose to shop on Small Business Saturday do so because they want to support local businesses. You can get even more people to shop by offering a special promotion for anyone who makes a purchase on Small Business Saturday. Depending on your products and price point you can offer a certain percent off their purchase, a dollar amount discounted when they spend a certain amount, or you can include a small free gift. These customers are supporting your business so it’s nice to give them a little something extra.
Run a sweepstake.
Ask your current customers to invite their friends and family to shop on Small Business Saturday or to share a photo of themselves shopping on social media for a chance to win a prize. You can give customers a special coupon with their name on it that they can give to a friend to receive a discount off their purchase, then give your customer a special gift. Or, ask customers to post a photo of themselves shopping on Small Business Saturday and tag your business, then randomly draw a winner to reward them with a special prize. This can help get current customers more engaged and help promote your business for you!
Create a special edition product.
Create a special edition product that is only available on Small Business Saturday. This can be a fun themed version of your normal product or it can be a completely new product that is only available to customers who shop that day. A specialty product can create a sense of scarcity. There’s a limited number of those limited edition products available and they are only available for a limited time which encourages customers to purchase so that they can be sure to get the special product.
Follow up with new customers.
Small Business Saturday is a great way to attract new customers to your local business. But once they become customers you want to keep them! Ask everyone who shops on Small Business Saturday to join your email list, then follow up with everyone who made a purchase to thank them and tell them more about your local business. You can also offer them a discount on their next purchase to hopefully gain a new repeat customer.
Are you participating in Small Business Saturday this year?