Long live small businesses! This Saturday, after the chaos of Black Friday and before the online frenzy of Cyber Monday, consumers across America will #ShopSmall in support of small and local businesses.
Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday (#SmallBizSat) has grown into its own unofficial shopping holiday that’s anything but small. Last year, American Express reported $14.3 billion was spent on Small Business Saturday.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to expand your customer base and increase sales! Here are some ways to make sure your business is top-of-mind for shoppers this Small Business Saturday.
Reach Customers on a Local Level
A big part of #SmallBizSat’s consumer draw is its promotion of local businesses. Remind shoppers of the many benefits of buying and spending local - the economics are in your favor. It’s been reported that for every $100 spent on local businesses, about $68 gets reinvested in the local economy (as opposed to only $43 being redistributed locally when spent at large businesses).
- Market Through Local and In-Store Promotions - Leverage your hometown advantage by promoting your holiday sales in local publications and with creative in-store displays and banners. Maybe even take this as an opportunity to host a local holiday shopping event with special invitations and sales offers.
- Optimize Local Search - The Internet has become the great equalizer for small retailers, giving all companies a chance to be searched and be seen. Optimizing your small business’ website for localized search will go a long way towards driving more traffic to your eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores.Google recently launched a new initiative to help ensure all businesses get the online visibility they deserve. Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map aims to “Help every small business succeed on the web,” and their easy-to-follow get started guide will have your business up on Google Search and Google Maps in no time!
- Create Local Business Listings - To gain even more visibility and online connections to customers, it’s important to create an online local business listing. This means creating profiles on business directory websites like Yelp, Google+, Bing Places, and Yahoo Local. You can even get your business added to American Express’ Shop Small retailer directory and receive free marketing materials to assist in your promotions.
Multiply Profits with Multichannel Selling
Although it can initially seem tricky and overwhelming for small retail shops to establish more than one eCommerce channel, Stitch’s data shows these efforts can reap big rewards. On average, retailers selling via a branded shopping cart site (like Shopify, WooCommerce, Bigcommerce, or Magento) and a single marketplace (like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy) make 38% more in revenue than those with no marketplace presence. And those who sell through two marketplaces make 120% more revenue.
With online shopping projected to hit an all-time high this holiday season, it’s more important than ever to have a multichannel selling strategy. That means you should have a(n):
- Branded online store
- Established sales channels on popular marketplaces
- Mobile and search-optimized eCommerce sites
Get Social Savvy
Social media promotions and activities are a cheap and easy way to boost your small business’ online profile and cultivate a personalized customer experience. Not to mention, social media is increasingly becoming the source of retails sales. Recent data has shown that 40% of consumers make a purchase (either online or in-store) after favoriting a product on social media platforms.
- Use relevant hashtags, like #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat
- Leverage your existing customers, fans, and followers
- Encourage and incentivise shoppers to share your content with their social networks
- Listen, respond, and engage users that post about your brand
- Experiment with paid social ads to promote special offers
Here’s to sharing the local love this Small Business Saturday!