Make Small Business Saturday the Best Day of Your Year

Cathie Ericson, Writer

This article is part of Square’s definitive guide on eCommerce best practices during the holidays. Explore the guide to learn how to curate a festive and stress-free shopping experience for your customers and stay competitive.

Overwhelmed consumers who equate Black Friday shopping with big-box stores and crowds often turn their attention to the following day, Small Business Saturday, when they can enjoy a more leisurely and personal experience.

In fact, last year shoppers spent an estimated $17.8 billion during Small Business Saturday. While many consumers choose to frequent neighborhood brick-and-mortar stores to show their support, eCommerce retailers can be part of the Small Business Saturday movement, too.

holiday ecom guide

Here are five ways that you can promote the Shop Small movement on Saturday, November 30, 2019.

Create a community online

Small businesses have an advantage online — they can build an engaged community. Nurture a feeling of camaraderie by creating connections with your online followers on Small Business Saturday. Take to social media to encourage engagement by asking your followers to share cherished holiday traditions, or their biggest gift fails. Or host a chat online where participants chime in with shopping tips or ideas for eco-friendly celebrations.

Boneca Lathers
Boneca Lathers shares its Sunday skincare routine and asks followers to highlight their best practices.

Combine forces with fellow sellers

Small Business Saturday is all about building relationships, and lots of brick-and-mortar stores celebrate their community ties by cohosting events. But there’s no reason eCommerce retailers can’t do the same with a virtual event, where you and a complementary site (or sites) promote one another and offer special discounts or promotions to each other’s fan base. Cross-post on social media to create a neighborhood feel that’s not bound by geography.

Hogg Batch Coffee
Hogg Batch Coffee advertises a local Christmas Market in which it is participating.

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Tell your brand’s story

One of the best ways to connect with your customers and emphasize your roots is to tell your personal story. Part of the allure of Small Business Saturday is supporting business owners as people, rather than spending at a large, monolithic company. Use your website and social media to open up and share what makes you unique — maybe it’s the story behind why you started your business, your philanthropic goals, or the fact that you have a pet “coworker” that hangs out with you while you ship orders.

Showcase your product sources

Shopping small often means shopping locally, but customers don’t necessarily only focus on the merchant next door; often they’re more concerned with where your goods are sourced. So a skateboard seller in Seattle could showcase how they upcycle materials from the local forest. Or if you sell a variety of accessories produced by a local knitting circle, invite the crafters to share their background and the benefits they find in sharing their creations with others. The goal is to make the local roots of your eCommerce store shine through — even if it’s not local to your customer.

Poor George Instagram
Poor George showcases its one-of-a-kind clothing items on Instagram

Participate on social media

Whatever you decide to do for Small Business Saturday, make sure you’re part of the larger conversation by using hashtags like #ShopSmall, #SmallBusiness, #SmallBusinessSaturday, and #SmallBizSat so customers know where to find you.

Hogg Batch Coffee Sale
Hogg Batch Coffee took advantage of Small Business Saturday by launching a Buy One Get One Free sale.

As the world compresses thanks to the magic of social media, customers have expanded their definition of “their backyard.” With these tips to connect with customers looking to shop small online, you’ll have them feeling right at home this Small Business Saturday.

Having the right tools is essential for minimizing holiday shopping season chaos. From inventory management to eCommerce solutions, Square has all the tools you need to start, run, and grow your business — whether you’re selling in person, online, or both. And we’ve made all our tools to work together as one system, saving you time and money — and making decisions easier. Give yourself the gift of a unified business ecosystem and get started with Square today.

Cathie is a freelance writer who specializes in clear, actionable content on finance- and marketing-related topics to help owners of small-and-medium-sized businesses focus on their goals.