In 2010, we recognized the first official Small Business Saturday, the little shopping day that could, sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
But this is no day to sleep on. In fact, last year brought in $19.6 billion for independent retailers and restaurants on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, according to the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. And that’s $2 billion more than consumers spent on that day in 2018.
So, what will this year bring? We know communities are rallying around small businesses as they deal with everything that 2020 has thrown at them. To make a splash on Small Business Saturday, it’s time to pull together a complete strategy in all the right places:
1. In Store
If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar building, you can use that to your advantage by dressing it up, hosting events, staying open longer and showing customers a little TLC. Consider some of these ideas:
- Partner with neighboring shops and restaurants to share in the celebration. Coordinate hours, decorations and social media messaging to drum up excitement.
- If weather allows, place a table and chairs outside to offer samples, specials or information for passing foot traffic.
- Provide easy grab-and-go options, like gift cards.
- Create goodie bags for the first 20 curbside pickups of the day.
- Need some marketing inspiration? Check out the Shop Small support page for marketing materials and resources, such as the Shop Small Safely ebook.
This year, more than ever, consumers are looking for businesses online before they even leave the house. Be sure your website and online listings are up-to-date with the correct address, hours and services provided.
- As a test, search for your business on your smartphone. Is your Google My Business page up-to-date? This is critical for showing up in search results.
- You know that a splashy display is important for a storefront, and the same goes for your website. Be sure to add Small Business Saturday specials at the top of your site so they won’t be missed.
- Remind your current customers about your products and services, and offer an exclusive promotion through texts and email messages. They’re getting a lot of these right now, so be sure to keep it brief, as well as catchy and clever. (PS: Start your marketing today!)
3. Through Social
Everything around the holidays is an Instagrammable moment, so be sure to announce your plans and show off on Small Business Saturday across all of your social media channels.
- Gin up awareness using the hashtags, #shopsmall, #shoplocal and #smallbusinesssaturday when posting on social.
- Create a Facebook event for the day and co-sponsor it with neighboring businesses so everyone can share their specials in one place. Don’t forget to officially invite your page followers so they get reminders.
- Reward customers with a discount or freebie when they post a photo and tag your business.
- Use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to direct message local journalists and bloggers to let them know what you’re planning for Small Business Saturday. They may be looking for a good story to cover.
- Coordinate with local organizations to benefit a community cause. Offer a percentage of sales to show your support and share their social posts to drive more awareness. We’re all in this together, after all.