This year Small Business Saturday is on Saturday, November 28th. If you are an owner of a small company, then you may already be aware of Small Business Saturday. This important day near the beginning of the holiday shopping season encourages shoppers to shop with local businesses.
With the effects of COVID-19 hitting small businesses this year, it’s more important now than ever to take advantage of this day and establish the appropriate steps to drive traffic to your site and store. Below are additional resources to help your business during COVID-19.
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96% of consumers who reported shopping on Small Business Saturday said the day makes them want to Shop Small all year long, not just during the holiday season via @AmericanExpress
American Express in 2010 first promoted the idea, and many small businesses have chosen to participate since then. Owners are encouraged to mark their promotional and print materials with #ShopSmall or #SmallBusinessSaturday to encourage customers to participate. Ahead of the big day, however, owners need to prepare carefully.
Tip: Owners are encouraged to use #ShopSmall or #SmallBusinessSaturday on their printed materials and on social media to encourage customers to participate.
With over 104 million shoppers spending $17.8 billion in 2019, you will want to make sure that you have adequate inventory on hand for customers who show up in your store on that day. You may want to consider obtaining a unique item to sell at a discounted rate to draw customers into your location.
Consider your current inventory so that you can see which items you can put on sale for the day to draw in even more customers. Advertise it on the website and all social profiles to prepare the customers and create a buzz online.
According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, produced by American Express and NFIB, 104 million shoppers spent a record high of $17.8 billion this year.
Your Staff is Prepared
Make sure that you have enough staff on hand for Small Business Saturday. Your team needs to be entirely prepared for this event; this includes being mentally ready. While the average varies by industry, you should have at least one staff member for every 23 customers that you expect to walk in the door each hour during your operating hours on that day. You may even want to consider extending your hours, making it easier for customers to come to see you.
Additionally, think about the staff you have working for you so that you have the ones on the sales floor representing your company the best during this important day. It’s essential to make sure that each employee has a set scheduled break. Planning helps keep employees who typically have the day off happier when you tell them they have to work.
Spend time with your employees to discuss how to communicate with customers on related interests. Explain to your workers on products that are sold that can be of interest to your customers. Doing so can also include upselling, such as signing up for an email to receive discounts, earn rewards when purchasing, and so forth.
Whether you treat your staff with a catered meal, increase sales commissions or another type of reward, this can help them stay positive and provide exceptional service.
Business Tip: Rotate and alternate employees’ duties, so they don’t get tired or bored.
Remove Customers Stress
We all know that holiday shopping can be stressful and darn right challenging for most people. It’s the pressure of finding that perfect gift, all while staying within a holiday budget, family and work gatherings, and so much more. How can you make it a little more enjoyable and less stressful?
Offer something that will not only benefit the customer but will benefit you as a business owner. Take a look into providing free gift-wrapping for those who shop within the store and potentially reduce or offer free shipping.
Come up with a wish-list for customers, whether ordering online or in-store. Often, customers are trying to figure out “this year’s best gift.” Take the guesswork out by offering a wish-list that provides customers with the best gift ideas.
Tease that you will be participating in Small Business Saturday in advance. This can create excitement from customers. But, make sure you promote your participation in the day ahead of time on social media. Consider collecting social media data from your current customers allowing you to promote your involvement in this key event well ahead of time.
Business Tip: Think about giving customers who share your posts an exclusive prize if they also visit your location on that Saturday.
Consider holding a contest with a prize given away every hour for people who come in and follow your business. It’s important to post on various social media channels using the #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall hashtags. Whether you’re going to post a static image, video, or story, post often!
Find ways to get customers to spread the word through social media creatively. Talk to your employees and ask if they have any suggestions. Involving the whole team can produce some great ideas!
A large social media presence is important because it’s one of the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing. Everything else involves buying eyeballs and ears. Social media enable small businesses to earn eyeballs and ears. – Guy Kawasaki
Advertise with Flyers
Printing fleys is a great way to promote your participation so customers can hold onto them to remind themselves to visit your business. You will want to get them printed well in advance so that you can put them in your customer’s bags when they make a purchase in the days leading up to the event.
Additionally, consider having a couple of staff members handing them out in high traffic areas as the big day approaches.
Tip: Network with other businesses in your location, and see if they would be willing to hand them out to their customers. You can partner up and do the same for their business.
Save-the-Date cards can be another fun marketing tool. These save-the-date cards can be mailed out to remind them that your business participates in Small Business Saturday. By knowing ahead of time can help bring online traffic and additional foot traffic into your establishment.
This can be done by using Every Door Direct Mail®. It’s a postcard marketing tool that enables you to reach new customers by USPS® certified mail routes or by zip code. You can watch our video tutorial on how to use our EDDM® Mapping Tool.
Get Noticed in Search
There are a variety of ways that you can promote your participation in this event. Start by claiming your Google My Business account. Once verified, you can create a business-post with the following options; what’s new with the following options: new, product, event, and offer. Include your content and link it to a particular webpage.
Of course, you will want to create a blog about your business participation. Also, consider Google PPC advertising for the day. Use keywords associated with your product and business.
If your advertising budget is large enough, then consider participating in Google shopping. Find ways to collect more reviews in the weeks leading up to the event so that your company has plenty of five-star reviews, either from Google, Facebook, or a third party partner such as Trustpilot.
Clean up your website, so it’s ready for your online presence. Make it easy to find store hours, location, and contact information. Allow your site to be navigated easily. Keep in mind that over 78% of people will research a product online before making a purchase decision.
Partnerships and Networking
Remember that you are not the only business participating in this event. Therefore, watch for ways to connect your company to others participating in your community. If there isn’t an organized plan, then talk to other business owners around you.
Think about what skills every business can bring to the table and utilize their strengths to get shoppers to your location. You may even want to do joint flyers listing all the special events for the day.
You can partner with other local small businesses. You can be creative while making it fun for customers. Below are just a few ideas!
- In-store events.
- Reward punch cards that can be used at different establishments.
- Local store map; highlight businesses that you have partnered with.
- Advertise. Team up with other businesses to help with the cost. (TV, Radio, and PPC)
- Reward Customers by visiting each store.
Business Tip: Research and determine if a postcard marketing campaign will be beneficial. You can select from Direct Mail or Every Door Direct Mail®.
Following these Small Business tips can help you maximize its potential. Planning ahead and informing your customers keeps your company foremost in their minds.
Additionally, these tips can help market Black Friday (November 27, 2020) and Cyber Monday. (November 30, 2020)