Saturday, November 24, 2012 is Small Business Saturday

When you say “Thanksgiving”, most retailers naturally think of Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  Well thanks to American Express, Small Business Saturday® is changing the focus from big box retailers and online merchants to local businesses like yours.

In 2010, American Express launched a movement dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide.  They proclaimed the Saturday after Thanksgiving to be Small Business Saturday – calling on consumers across America to do their holiday shopping at small businesses in their local community.

How much impact can one day have?

Apparently, quite a bit.  Last year alone, the Shop Small® movement:

  • Moved 103 million Americans to shop locally
  • Created a 23% increase in credit card sales for participating retailers
  • Unified over 230 corporations, chambers and advocate groups to promote the event
  • Received over 2.7 million “Likes” on Facebook and over 200,000 tweets

What can it do for your business?

Participating in and promoting an event like this can not only help increase your holiday sales, but more importantly, it can impact customer loyalty.  With only two years of history under its belt, one thing is for certain – Shop Small resonates in a big way with Americans.  In fact, the positive response has made such an impact that in 2011 the U.S. Senate officially designated the day as Small Business Saturday.

How can your business take part?

You’re automatically a part if you’re a small business.  But there are definitely ways you can prepare and promote it to work harder for your business.

  • Free Resources – Start by visiting the website.  It’s a great resource for free marketing materials and even ideas from other small businesses that made the day a success.
  • Sales and Special Offers – Consumers have come to expect discounts and special offers when they shop this time of year.  Consider items you want to liquidate for a special “one-day only” price.  Or, encourage customers to mention the Shop Small campaign for a one-time discount.  If you sell online, free shipping is always an attractive offer for online shoppers.
  • Promote, Promote, Promote – Once you have your offers defined, it’s time to spread the word.  Create a Facebook page, buy local advertising, add the Shop Small logo to your website or send targeted mailers and emails.  Whatever you do, make sure to include your special offers or coupons to grab shoppers’ attention.
  • Measure Your Success – Define a goal or set of metrics to help you evaluate your campaign’s success.   Coupon redemption, number of units sold, total revenue versus prior year are all potential metrics that can be measured.
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