Before the busy Christmas season hits, there’s one special day that bucks the big-box trend. If you’re a local business, Small Business Saturday — November 28 — is your time to shine.
The day was created by American Express in 2010 and designed to encourage customers to ‘Shop Small’ and support family operations or independent sellers. It’s a great way to strengthen your local community by encouraging shoppers to focus on the sellers in their neighbourhood.
Here are some ideas for reaching shoppers this Small Business Saturday.
Promote the day in your store
American Express offers a range of free promotional signage and materials to help you deck out your store and prepare for the day. Use these to show the local community that you’re taking part and encourage your customers to ‘Shop Small’. Even if you’re not an American Express customer, Small Business Saturday provides a chance to update your graphics on social media with similar designs to leverage the buzz around the event.
Get busy on social media
Speaking of social media, Twitter is abuzz with #ShopSmallAU, #SmallBizSaturday and #SmallBusinessSaturday noise. Make sure you’re using these hashtags as they’re likely to be trending, meaning that any posts you publish will go just a little bit further to reach new customers’ eyeballs. On Saturday, stay active on social media to promote any special offers, events or promotions you may be running. Don’t forget to mention that the deals are only good for Saturday to drive a sense of urgency.
Host an event
Marketing and social media can bring customers into your store, and fun events and activities will keep them there. If you’re a coffee shop, you might consider hosting a morning cupping or bean sampling to give people a caffeine hit before a big day of shopping. If you have a hair salon, offer champagne as a thank-you to clients who pay you a visit on Saturday (and ask them to share a picture on social media while they’re there).
Bring the community together
Small Business Saturday is a fantastic chance for you to bring other sellers in the community together for a shared event. This could be a block party or street fair — whatever you decide. Make sure it encourages customers to congregate on your street or in the area so that they spend time visiting each business. Be sure to let your customers know about the event on social media.
Track your numbers
Whatever you do, make sure you’re measuring your sales numbers on Small Business Saturday so you can compare them to other Saturdays and get a sense of the return on the time you’ve invested. You can see a wealth of data in your Square Dashboard.
A little work now could make for a bustling Small Business Saturday. Here’s to a great way to kick off the holiday sales season!