Every year, the last Saturday in November is a special day for small businesses because it calls to support small businesses and recognize 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 level up your selling tactics and offer incentives during this busy shopping season. Doing so can help you attract more traffic, generate greater revenue, and build brand loyalty.
Check out our tips and tricks on how to turn Small Business Saturday in your favor:
1. Refresh your website
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 promotions and verify that your contact information is prominently displayed.
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.
2. Prioritize customer service
Your customers are bound to ask for help. On your website, make sure your phone number and email address are updated. Additionally, you must also embed a live chat feature for real-time response to your customers’ concerns.
On the other hand, in your brick-and-mortar store, make your customer service signs are prominent—even at a distance. This ensures that your customers would know where to go if they need help or assistance, minimizing friction in holiday shopping.
Consider adding a free gift wrap station also for added value and to help put shoppers in a holiday mood. This minimizes their gift-wrapping efforts when they get home.
3. Collaborate with other small businesses
Whether it’s teaming up with a neighboring small business owner to purchase ad space or to share a free cocoa booth, there is power in collaboration. It fosters creativity and innovation, which allows you both to combine your unique strengths and expertise to develop new ideas and solutions. For example, if you’re a bookstore and you wish to collaborate with a nearby cafe, you can advertise, “35% off on your coffee for every $100 purchase at Blanche’s Bookstore!”
Additionally, collaboration enhances market visibility, as collaborations often garner more attention than solo efforts.
4. Take inventory of your product offerings
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 a larger customer volume by having enough service technicians and a solid scheduling system in place to ensure that you can meet customer demand.
5. Clear out clutter
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, you’ll have loyal customers recommending your business to others.
In a brick-and-mortar store, clearing out clutter involves removing physical inventory, fixtures, or decorations that may overcrowd the space or create a disorganized appearance. This can help improve the store’s layout, which makes it more visually appealing and easier for customers to navigate. Clearing out clutter can also help you identify and prioritize the products or displays that generate the most sales and customer interest.
In an online store, on the other hand, means reviewing and optimizing your website’s content, product listings, and design elements. This may include removing discontinued products, streamlining website navigation, and decluttering the homepage to ensure a clean and user-friendly experience for online shoppers. It also involves updating or removing outdated content, such as product descriptions, to keep the site relevant and engaging.
6. Create an effective social media strategy
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. 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.
To have a robust social media strategy for the upcoming event, employ these strategies:
- Plan ahead. Start planning your Small Business Saturday campaign well in advance. Set clear goals, decide on your budget, and establish a content calendar to help you be prepared.
- Create engaging content. Develop compelling content that highlights the importance of supporting local businesses. Use graphics, images, and videos to capture attention. Share stories about local entrepreneurs and their products.
- Use hashtags. Utilize relevant hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday, #ShopSmall, and #SupportLocal to increase your posts’ visibility. Create a unique hashtag for your campaign if possible.
- Run contests or giveaways. Engage your audience by organizing contests or giveaways that encourage people to shop at local small businesses. Ask participants to share their experiences using your products/services.
- Educate and inform. Share tips on how to support local businesses, the economic impact of shopping in your local community, and the benefits of buying from small businesses.
- Offer exclusive deals. Create exclusive Small Business Saturday promotions or discounts. Highlight these offers in your posts. Promotions like, “First 50 customers get 50% discount on goods,” or “Shop between 8 am to 10 pm and get first dibs on the limited edition book set!” can create a sense of urgency in your customers.
- Leverage user-generated content. Encourage your customers to share their experiences and purchases on social media. This type of content fosters authenticity and trust, which can influence the purchase decisions of prospective customers. Share this user-generated content on your profiles.
- Live streaming. Consider doing live streaming sessions showcasing your products or services. Engage with your audience in real time, answer questions, and promote special deals.
- Email marketing. Send out email newsletters to your subscribers in the lead-up to Small Business Saturday. Include information about your promotions and the importance of supporting local businesses.
- Engage and respond. Monitor your social media platforms for comments and messages. Engage with your audience promptly and genuinely.
- Post frequently. Keep your social media profiles active in the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday. Consistency in posting is key to staying top-of-mind with your audience.
- Highlight unique offerings. Emphasize what makes your business special. Whether it’s a unique product, excellent customer service, or a compelling backstory, share it with your audience.
- After the event. Don’t forget to follow up after Small Business Saturday. Thank your customers for their support and share the success stories of the day. Consider running a post-event sale or promotion to keep the momentum going.
- Track results. Use analytics tools to measure the success of your social media strategy. Look at engagement metrics, website traffic, and sales data to assess your campaign’s impact.
7. Increase your community affiliations
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 challenged 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.
8. Claim your Google My Business page
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.
9. Know your competitive advantage
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 will help win over newcomers and keep sales coming in.
10. Promote gift cards
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? This encourages them to shop more with the thought in mind that they can get discounts or special offers.
Make your website Small Business Saturday-ready now
Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for you to generate more sales during the holiday season. Preparing now means youwill be ready to make the most of this event in November and beyond. And part of your preparation is giving your website a makeover to make it ready for the occasion. With that, we’d like to encourage you to check out Web.com’s Website Builder. It has ready-made templates for your use as well as a drag-and-drop feature to make it easy for your website makeover. Head on to our website now and get a plan to start designing!