American Express devised the concept of Small Business Saturday more than a decade ago to encourage consumers to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities during the holiday season. The concept seems to have hit home with many. In fact, American consumers spent an estimated $19.8 billion at small businesses during the 2020 event, and that number is expected to grow in 2021.
While any Saturday can be “Small Business Saturday,” the Saturday after Thanksgiving – which is November 27 this year – has become a small business shopping day in the same way that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become designated shopping days. For small businesses on the Internet, Small Business Saturday is a great way to encourage existing and new customers to purchase their products or services and drive sales.
In this post, we’ll discuss ways to prepare your business on the Internet for Small Business Saturday – less than a month away!
Plan your inventory.
Minimize out-of-stock items and shopper frustration by preparing inventory in advance. Start by checking your inventory levels for the products that you plan to promote on Small Business Saturday. If you have a point-of-sale (POS) inventory management system, you’ll be able to complete this task quickly.
From there, review your historical sales results to estimate how many products you might sell at lower prices. Anticipating the demand for your products will help you determine order quantities from your suppliers.
Develop your offers.
Most businesses that participate in Small Business Saturday offer one-day-only deals or promotions to entice shoppers. Discounts and promotions are great ways to drive customers to your store who might otherwise shop elsewhere.
For example, a restaurant might offer a special menu with 20% discounts on favorite meals; clothing stores might offer a buy one, get one free promotion for certain items. You could also give $5 gift cards to customers who make a purchase above a certain price to encourage higher dollar sales as well as repeat business after the holidays. Once you’ve chosen a promotion, make sure you advertise it (see next tip) so current and potential customers are aware of the deal.
Alert customers via flyers and posters.
Create flyers and posters with the relevant information to let your regular customers know that you’re participating in Small Business Saturday. You can create flyers using American Express’s Small Business Saturday Brand Studio here or design and customize your own using a free program like Canva.
Advertise on social media.
Using social media to promote Small Business Saturday can be extremely effective to help you reach new and potential customers. Post on your social channels a few times a week to keep your social followers up to date on special deals and how they can participate.
You can reach other customers in your town who may not follow you by liking or commenting on Small Business Saturday posts from other local businesses. When posting on social media sites, make sure to use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #ShopSmall to connect with the larger Small Business Saturday community.
If you don’t already have social media graphics, you can create some with American Express’s easy-to-use branded templates.
Participating in Small Business Saturday is a great way to celebrate all the hard work that goes into running a small business, raise brand awareness, get involved in your community, and ultimately drive sales, especially for your small business on the Internet.