Every year, the last Saturday in November is a special day for small businesses, calling attention to the value they bring to customers during the holiday season and throughout the year. It's called Small Business Saturday, and it's a great opportunity to offer sales and other incentives during this busy shopping season that can help you attract more traffic, generate greater revenue and build brand loyalty.
Small Business Saturday 2020 may be one like no other with some parts of the country just beginning to reopen after coronavirus concerns and many customers continuing to shop online rather than in-store. No matter the situation, you can still make the most of it by planning ahead and adding a little creativity to your marketing strategy. Here are 10 ideas to help make your Small Business Saturday a successful one.
With more people shopping from home than ever before, make sure your website is firing on all cylinders. Update your homepage to include your Small Business Saturday sales and verify that your contact information is prominently displayed. For in-person shoppers, highlight in-store protocols and the steps you have taken to create a safe atmosphere for your shoppers. Most importantly, review your online store to ensure that all of your pricing and product or service information is up to date. Think like a customer and click through the online sales process to ensure your visitors will have a fast and easy shopping experience. If you need assistance, Web.com can help you build your website and eCommerce store.
Retrain your team to be aware and ready for all coronavirus precautions in your store, such as mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and other practices. This will help your customers to feel confident and more comfortable visiting your location. Consider adding a free gift wrap station for added value and to help put shoppers in a Holiday mood. Also, have designated members of your team ready to respond to online shoppers to help them with any issues they have finding merchandise or with eCommerce transaction obstacles. When your team is well-trained and prepared, good customer results will follow.
Whether it’s teaming up with a neighboring small business to purchase ad space or to share a free cocoa booth, there is power in collaboration. Especially in challenging times, such as operating a business during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be helpful for small business owners to create a coalition for purchasing power or even just to brainstorm customer outreach tactics. In advance of Small Business Saturday, contact your local Small Business Development Center to explore your options for collaboration.
Planning ahead for your specific promotional ideas now means reassessing whether you’re adequately prepared to meet the anticipated needs of your Small Business Saturday customers. If you offer eCommerce or in-person product sales, take inventory of your stock and make adjustments early so you can be as efficient as possible on the big day. While predicting consumer behavior is always important, it's especially so over the holidays. If you are a service provider, such as a subcontractor or installer, you can still prepare for larger customer volume by having enough service technicians ready and a solid scheduling system in place to ensure that you can meet customer demand.
When reviewing your inventory, it is also wise to ensure that your customers’ experience is as easy and streamlined as possible. Whether you have a brick and mortar storefront, an online presence or both, keeping things clutter-free and easy to navigate makes for better, more enjoyable shopping. When shopping is easy for them, customers are more likely to return to you and to recommend your business to others.
It’s important to capitalize on any chance to promote your small business. Small Business Saturday provides exactly that opportunity, and American Express, the founder of the event, along with many other companies, even promotes the occasion on your behalf. Apply your social media resources and schedule a few posts using the hashtag #ShopSmall. As part of a larger social media strategy, this can boost your brand awareness, keep your store top of mind and appeal to customers who are interested in supporting local businesses.
While considering the best way to prepare yourself for Small Business Saturday, a renewed focus on community affiliations is a great use of your time and resources. Supporting local sports teams and hiring mentally or physically challenges workers are examples of acts that help your community. Your efforts, in turn, may inspire community members to do business with you. If you haven’t explored the potential of these efforts or it's been a while, consider whether you have the ability to start making community involvement a priority for your business. Giving back to your community is always a rewarding experience.
When it comes to attracting local customers, having a presence on Google My Business is key. It’s the highest-ranking factor in determining your local search engine optimization (SEO) success and how people will find you in online searches so it’s definitely worth your time to verify your information is relevant, correct, and up to date. If you need assistance figuring out how to optimize your presence on Google My Business, their help section provides guidance on steps you can take to improve your ranking in local search results. For a more thorough look at optimizing your online presence, also consider Small Business SEO Services from Web.com.
Maybe you have a warm, inviting physical space that sets you apart or maybe it’s your depth of industry knowledge that keeps customers coming back. Whatever the case may be, now is the right time to highlight the aspects of your business that make it unique. Don’t be shy about touting your accomplishments to bring in more customers. Featuring what makes your business stand out in your Small Business Saturday marketing will help win over newcomers and keep sales coming in.
The timing of Small Business Saturday means that holidays and gifts are typically on the minds of your customers which is great news for you. Shoppers who are in the giving spirit are much more likely to make larger purchases. Why not make it easy for them to keep their options open by offering a promotion on gift cards? With more people shopping online, this is an especially appealing and easy gift-giving opportunity.
Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for you to generate more sales during the holiday season. Preparing now means you will be ready to make the most of this event in November and beyond. After helping over 3 million small businesses build a strong online presence, we can do the same for you. Just let us know how we can help.