The holiday season is around the corner, and small businesses everywhere are figuring out how to adapt to the unusual circumstances of this year. With so much holiday shopping shifting to the virtual realm, local mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and service providers can boost their online presence and get themselves on the national stage by participating in Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday, which takes place on November 28 this year, encourages consumers to support local businesses by shopping small. American Express launched this shopping holiday in 2010, at the height of the Great Recession, as a way of redirecting holiday shopping to local stores. A decade later, it’s observed in all 50 states, and in 2011, the Senate passed a resolution recognizing Small Business Saturday.
Consumers have been more than eager to jump on board and support their local small business community. Last year, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported Americans spent nearly $20 billion on Small Business Saturday, and in the nine years before that, consumers spent a cumulative $100 billion on this shopping holiday.
For every dollar spent on small businesses, American Express estimates an average of $0.67 stays in that business’s local community. This has the potential to make a huge difference during the 2020 holiday season, when most small businesses will be fighting to make up the revenue they lost throughout COVID-19.
[Read: Holiday Shopping 2020: 5 Ways It Will be Different]
While the shift to e-commerce may be a big change for many brick-and-mortar retailers, there’s still an enormous opportunity to reach consumers and increase sales during Small Business Saturday 2020.
Making the most of Small Business Saturday during the pandemic
Small Business Saturday has traditionally been aimed at driving foot traffic to local shops. This year, more and more consumers will be taking their holiday shopping online and seeking out virtual, contactless experiences with businesses.
Here are a few ways to ride the trends and position your business for success this Small Business Saturday.
Get free marketing materials and exposure from American Express
While the shift to e-commerce may be a big change for many brick-and-mortar retailers, there’s still an enormous opportunity to reach consumers and increase sales during Small Business Saturday 2020. American Express offers free marketing materials, including posters, emails and social media posts. This year, small businesses can even add themselves to AmEx’s “Shop Small” map and join a national directory of other participating businesses.
[Read: How to Sign Up for Small Business Saturday]
Find and/or host virtual Small Business Saturday events
Small business owners are stronger when they join forces and work together. Across the country, local businesses are hosting virtual Small Business Saturday events, whether they organize them with other businesses or join existing events. Business owners can advertise the occasion, hold online sales and provide special incentives for customers during these events.
Launch social media and email marketing campaigns
Since Small Business Saturday has become a household name across the country, social media and email marketing campaigns focused on this shopping holiday can bring in new customers. Businesses can use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall and tag American Express’s @shopsmall social media accounts to get noticed online.
Update and optimize your small business website
Every business, especially those with e-commerce operations, should make sure their websites are up-to-date and mobile-friendly well before Small Business Saturday. Reaching consumers online has been the key to business survival in 2020 and will continue to be throughout this holiday season and beyond.
[Read: 5 Ways to Optimize Your E-Commerce Site]
Explore American Express’s content hub for small business tips, trends and tools
American Express publishes a merchant content hub featuring valuable small businesses resources and expert insights ahead of Small Business Saturday. This landing page, in conjunction with small business publications like CO—, can give you the knowledge and tools you need to attract more customers, streamline your operations and discover new trends that will help you grow.
CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.
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Event Recap: Digitizing Your Business
Watch the replay from our latest Roadmap for Rebuilding event, where the panel discusses how small businesses can incorporate automation and AI into their daily operations.
Published November 06, 2020