Small Business Saturday is one of the busiest shopping holidays of which most people have never heard (including many small business owners). Part of this stems from the fact that it falls on the last Saturday of November — nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
However, make no mistake.
Small Business Saturday is very big business — generating more than $15 billion in sales from 100-plus million shoppers every year. If you’re looking to boost your revenues this holiday season, Small Business Saturday isn’t something you can afford to ignore.
Below are five winning strategies to help you maximize Small Business Saturday — celebrated this year on Nov. 30.
1. Sign up for the AmEx ‘Shop Small’ Campaign
American Express is credited with inventing Small Business Saturday in 2010 — before it was officially recognized by the U.S. Senate one year later.
As the pioneer of this shopping holiday, AmEx offers a ton of free marketing materials that are available in hardcopy, online, and mobile formats. You can gain direct access to these by signing up for its “Shop Small” campaign — even if your business doesn’t currently accept American Express.
As a bonus, your company will be listed on AmEx’s interactive, online map of small businesses.
2. Create Dedicated Small Business Saturday Discounts
If you’re like most retailers, you probably already have discounts lined up for the Black Friday to Cyber Monday rush. Yet, there are compelling reasons why you should create dedicated discounts explicitly for Small Business Saturday.
According to a nationwide survey, 74% of small business owners reported that Black Friday and Cyber Monday had “little to no impact on their bottom line.” That’s because these shopping holidays were tailor-made for big-box stores and major retailers.
This year, consider diverting more of your ad spend exclusively to Small Business Saturday, instead. Be sure to advertise your sales — especially with social media. American Express reports that in previous years, Small Business Saturday generated over 605,000 social media posts across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
3. Set Yourself up for Future Sales
Although many people technically haven’t “heard of” Small Business Saturday, this one shopping holiday attracts more than 100 million U.S. consumers every year.
With numbers like these, it’s easy to become obsessed with this single shopping day.
Though according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 96% of customers reported that Small Business Saturday inspired them to “shop small” during the rest of the year. In addition to discounts, it pays to invest in customer service and a great user experience.
Improving these areas will incentivize customers to return — even once the busy holiday season ends.
4. Explore Cross-Promotional Opportunities
Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to partner with other small business owners in your community as you explore cross-promotional opportunities. Combining marketing forces, for example, allows you to reach a much larger (and more diverse) audience — often for a fraction of the budget.
Small retailers are also more plugged into their neighborhoods than big businesses. This is especially true when it comes to volunteerism and activism. In fact, small businesses donate up to 250% more of their time and energy to worthy causes — compared to multinationals.
Use this to your advantage by partnering with local outreach efforts in your community. Doing so shows your commitment. It also helps expand your reach — particularly if the cause you support is somehow related to your business.
5. Shore up Your Payment Environment
For this year’s Small Business Saturday, it’s crucial to choose a payment processor that adheres to the latest PCI data security standards.
Besides the risk of cybercrime and payment fraud, the stretch from Black Friday to Cyber Monday poses another threat — i.e., chargeback fraud.
Chargeback fraud happens when someone buys something from you with the express purpose of keeping the item and requesting a refund. All this individual has to do is initiate a chargeback with his or her card-issuing bank, and the sale is reversed.
Protecting yourself from this type of fraud isn’t easy since — as a merchant — the deck is stacked against you. We’ve written a more in-depth article that outlines steps to handle chargebacks. If you want to protect your sales this Small Business Saturday, be sure to read this free resource.
May This Small Business Saturday Bring You Huge Sales
Nov. 30 is just around the corner, so there isn’t much time to prepare for this year’s Small Business Saturday. If you start now, you may be able to accomplish everything that you need to do — even if that means completely overhauling your current payment environment.
To have our merchant services team help streamline your payment processing infrastructure, contact us today.