Small Business Saturday and Online Stores
Is all your focus right now on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? That’s a good place to start, but nestled between those two giant sales days is Small Business Saturday.
Quick history: Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express to encourage shoppers to take a break from the big box retailers and instead support local businesses. Since then, Small Business Saturday has seen support from federal and local governments, social media, and neighborhoods have rallied together to promote it. According to Grasshopper.com, last year’s Small Business Saturday saw 95 million people partake and spend over $16 billion.
Now typically, Small Business Saturday focuses around brick and mortar stores. If you have one, great! Keep reading, as the advice below still pertains to you. But what if you’re online only? You can still take advantage of the projected $18 billion in sales on Saturday, November 26th, 2016.
Use the Small Business Saturday Assets
You see our header at the top of the blog? We made that in 30 seconds thanks to the Small Business Saturday site. Not only do they have social media & email banners, profile pictures, etc., they also have email copy, fliers, offer sheets, and a lot more. Take advantage of the ease with which you can promote yourself. Just click here to begin customizing your materials.
Jump on Social Media
Last year saw nearly 250,000 posts on social media channels during November. About 100,000 of those posts happened on Small Business Saturday. And customers are paying attention: use geotags where available, especially with Facebook ads. If you can target Facebook ads to people who live in your city, do it! Folks might not know your business is based out of their home city and if your town is anything like ours (Austin, TX), people will be proud to keep it local. Make sure you use the official hashtags, #SmallBizSat & #ShopSmall, too.
You can (and should) interact with American Express’s official Small Business Saturday Twitter account, @ShopSmall and Facebook page, @SmallBusinessSaturday. American Express is pretty responsive on both channels, so if you can get them to retweet or share or like your post, your audience will only get bigger.
Find or Create/Host a Mini-Market
Organize with a few other ecommerce businesses in your town or city and post up in a parking lot with tents/booths (make sure you get approval and all that goodness). Bring some of your merchandise with you if you have any on hand and allow people to buy from your online store in-person. This will be especially easy if you use Square’s chip reader or magstripe reader. But teaming up with other local ecom businesses means more promotional power + you’ll be building a community for ecom-trepreneurs.
If you don’t have the time to organize a mini-market, try partnering up with brick and mortars you might already have a relationship with.
The Bottom Line?
GET INVOLVED! Use the hashtag and join in conversations on social media. Target ads locally and promote your business as part of the community, along with any discounts/sales/offers you have for Small Business Saturday. Get out and about on Saturday. Maybe hang fliers at Small Business Saturday events with specific coupon codes. Don’t break your back or bank creating assets for this when American Express can do the heavy-lifting for you. Now get down to it and get ready for this weekend—it’ll be a big one.