Whether you’re a seasoned Small Business Saturday pro or hearing about it for the first time, customers care about the Saturday following Thanksgiving. On Nov. 24, 2018, thousands of consumers will show their support for small businesses. For encouragement and motivation leading up to the big day, see what research says about these consumers:
Do consumers care about Small Business Saturday?
Research proves yes. According to Business Wire, 65 percent of people who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday this year say they will support local, independently owned businesses because of the contributions small businesses make to their community. Additionally, the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by American Express found:
- As many as 80 percent of all consumers surveyed say they will do some of their holiday shopping at small, independently owned retailers or restaurants.
- Three-quarters of all consumers surveyed are planning to visit one or more small businesses to do their holiday shopping.
- 90 percent of all consumers surveyed agree it’s important for them to support small, independently owned restaurants and bars.
- Of consumers who are aware of Small Business Saturday, 89 percent agree that the day encourages them to shop small all year long, not just during the holiday season.
How can I make a great experience for my customers?
Now’s the time to prepare your promotion plan to get in on the action. The National Federation of Independent Business reports that the most popular types of businesses frequented on Small Business Saturday are:
- Restaurants, bars and pubs
- Clothing and accessories stores
- Food stores
- Coffee shops
But no matter your business, you can take advantage of Small Business Saturday. Use your social media platforms, email marketing and print marketing to communicate with customers about Small Business Saturday. Although many are already aware of Small Business Saturday, reaching out to customers will alert them to the fact that your business is taking part and will have special offers or events going on that day. Customers want to support you, and reaching out will encourage them to make your business one of the small businesses they frequent this year.
Here are six other ideas that will create a memorable experience for customers:
- Make sure you’ve got the bandwidth to serve customers: Doing things like prepping your website for more traffic and making sure you have enough product in stock will help create a seamless experience for customers. Also, make sure you’ve got enough in-store help to serve an influx of customers.
- Offer special discounts: Give customers an urgent incentive to stop in by offering special promotions or discounts.
- Brand yourself: Use the Shop Small® logo on your marketing materials and website to generate awareness and interest early on.
- Try a small event like offering free coffee or demonstrating a new product. Events engage customers and will likely keep them in store afterward.
- Cater to holiday shoppers: Consider offering gift cards or certificates so people can purchase in advance for others. It takes the pressure off them finding a gift and ensures that someone else will be visiting your store later to use their gift card or certificate.
- Ask for email addresses: Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to connect with customers. Build your list of contacts by collecting sign-ups on Small Business Saturday. You can use a paper list or add a landing page with a sign-up form to your website.
How will I persuade customers to return after Small Business Saturday?
The boost from Small Business Saturday is great, but when it’s back to business as usual, try some of these ideas to show your customers you care:
- Create coupons for those who recently shopped at your business. Try 20 percent off their next purchase, free content of some kind, or free shipping or delivery.
- Send thank-you notes to those who visited to show appreciation.
- Start an email campaign to connect with customers and stay on their mind with information and promotions.
- Communicate with consumers on social media.
You’re in the business of people and, with the above tips and tricks, you’ll be well-positioned to understand what consumers want on Small Business Saturday. (To give your #ShopSmall and #DineSmall campaigns some extra oomph this year, check out these free downloadable graphics created by our teammates at Deluxe.)
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© 2018, Lindsey Bakken. All rights reserved.