Recent holiday retail forecasts from the National Retail Federation (NRF) foresee modest growth in holiday spending as compared to last year, predicting a 3 percent to 4 percent increase in total sales. But there's a huge bright spot for small businesses: More consumers plan to shop on Small Business Saturday, November 25, than on Black Friday — 61 percent versus 56 percent — according to a recently released Bankrate report. What's more, there's a generational trend afoot in this increased interest, with 72 percent of Millennials saying they'll opt to go small and local.
Who's Going Small?
The percentage of surveyed consumers in each age group saying they'll shop Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday.
Gen Z-ers 69% Millenials 72% Gen-Xers 59% Baby Boomers 51%
Set yourself apart.
In 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday to celebrate small businesses in its merchant network. Now co-sponsored by the Small Business Association (SBA), the day has grown into a tradition, sandwiched between Black Friday, the increasingly manic day for bargains at America's chain stores, and Cyber Monday, when online retailers slash prices and create web traffic jams.
Are you ready?
So are you ready to show your customers what sets you apart from the stampedes of big-box stores, while also celebrating your community? With 12 days to go, time is tight. But you can still get motivated and consider these ideas for turning Small Business Saturday into a memorable event for your community and a sales bonanza for your business:
1. Do something special.
This is a great chance to introduce a new product or service, breathe new life into your existing inventory, or kickoff a customer loyalty program. Discounted product bundles and buy-one-get-one-free items keep you in competition with the chain stores — without those stampedes for the $200 high-definition TVs or the latest gaming device.
2. Make it a banner day.
Don't be shy about advertising this special day with signage, streamers, and other decorations. A festive atmosphere brings in foot traffic and signals that you're an enthusiastic member of your business community.
3. Work your channels.
Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, X, or another social platform, get the word out — and don't stop until the big day. (Include one or more hashtags, like #smallbusinesssaturday #smallbusiness #shopsmall, or more local spins on these themes.) Be sure to join in on any existing promotions that your local Chamber of Commerce, newspapers, website or radio/TV station may be offering.
4. Team with complimentary businesses.
Working with local businesses that target the same customer segments is a great way to save money and reach a larger audience. If you sell baby clothes, for example, team up with a family friendly restaurant or a pre-school to create discount offers or hold a hot-cider-and-donuts event.
5. Staff up.
Don't get caught short-handed on what may be the biggest sales day of the month, if not the season. Make sure you've got team members scheduled — along with backups — to keep things calm and moving quickly.
6. Make it a big day for data.
With all those extra customers visiting your business, this is a great time to capture emails and local addresses, along with phone numbers. Use these for further promotions and to say thanks for coming in. For example, a drawing for free merchandise or services could include an entry card with contact information.
When you plan it well, Small Business Saturday is a golden opportunity to kick off the holiday shopping season and strengthen your bonds with other local businesses and your entire community.
Small Business Saturday 2022 reaped an estimated $17.9 billion in sales.
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