Small Business Saturday: Prepare for Your Online Store

Small Business Saturday: Prepare for Your Online Store

Small Business Saturday is coming this Saturday, Nov. 27th, 2021. According to American Express, the spending of Small Business Saturday (SBS) hit an all-time high of $19.8 billion in 2020.

On Nov. 28th, 2020, the Small Business Saturday, more than 50% of the respondents said that they supported small businesses through social media, and supported local stores because of recommendations on social media. It’s reported that online shopping of a small business rose remarkably on the day, with 56% of consumers shopping online, up from 43% in 2019.

Small Business Saturday is huge for businesses and companies across the country. Learn what it is and how to take advantage of it for your online business.

What Is Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a national shopping holiday. SBS takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the US. SBS kicks off the holiday shopping season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Businesses often offer discounts and many other incentives to get customers to boost sales. Shop Small is an international movement to support small independent businesses and call attention to the valuable and unique contribution they make to their communities and economies.

Shop Small - DSers
Source: ShopSmall

American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010. Since then, SBS has evolved into the Shop Small® movement. Shop Small movement aims to encourage consumers to support local businesses and communities throughout the year.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 25th. Therefore, 2021 Small Business Saturday will be held on Nov. 27th. Here is a timeline of these events and holidays:

Thanksgiving Day

Nov. 25th

Black Friday

Nov. 26th

Small Business Saturday

Nov. 27th

Cyber Monday

Nov. 29th

Small Business Saturdays are suitable for small businesses. But they are not the only entities that can participate. The beauty of SBS is that everyone such as consumers, communities, companies and government representatives can get involved in it.

Why SBS Matters for Online Businesses

Small Business Saturday is an important holiday that can remind people of the significance of shopping the small businesses nearby rather than buying from major retailers. By registering in the Small Business Directory before the holiday, offering exclusive offers and marketing, small businesses can attract customers. These customers from communities and neighborhoods want to spend their money on these businesses for the foreseeable future.

Thank You Local - DSers

The covid-19 pandemic has also prompted consumers of all ages and demographics to make more online purchases. As small businesses prepare for the upcoming holiday season, there are several factors that business owners should bear in mind. This includes how to ensure the safety of shoppers in the store and how to manage the growing demand for online traffic. Amid all the uncertainty surrounding this year's holiday season, one thing is certain: more consumers will shop digitally.

Tips to Sell on SBS for Your Online Business

Small businesses should pay close attention to end-to-end online customer journeys and take advantage of SBS for online stores.

Sell Locally Online

To stay safe during the pandemic, consumers are increasingly choosing to support local small businesses by shopping online. You can get your online store to participate in SBS with apps and websites that support “Sell Locally”. Or if you have some extra office supplies or inventory you want to sell quickly, you probably don't need anything other than a smartphone to complete the sale.

Facebook Marketplace: People can access Facebook Marketplace directly from their Facebook Homepage. In this section, it’s a cinch to check sales in the neighborhood.

Facebook Marketplace - DSers
Source: Facebook

Customers are able to view product details easily and the products are very diverse. In addition, Facebook has partnered with popular marketplaces like Shopify to promote online purchases on the platform.

Craigslist: It is now the online sales platform of choice for many individuals and even some brands. Those who want to sell locally then trade in person have a quite fitting choice now. Moreover, some people can buy low and sell high on Craigslist, which translates into market arbitrage profit.

Nextdoor: At its core, Nextdoor is a social platform for connecting neighbors. Imagine a platform like Facebook, but instead of your newsfeed being filled with friends and family, it's people who live near you. Nextdoor is considered more reliable than Craigslist because sellers need to sign up for an account. There is no published fee or commission, but shipping is at your discretion.

Read more about platforms to sell your products online:

9 Best Platforms to Sell Your Products Online
Here are 9 best selling platforms for you to increase your sales, no matter you want to sell globally, locally or specifically.

Pop-up Store

Pop-up shops, born as a way to take advantage of empty storefronts, are increasingly popular because they represent a smart way to test new markets, evaluate different locations, and raise brand awareness. In addition, they are cheaper and less risky than traditional stores.

Pop-up stores also provide an ideal opportunity for emerging digital local brands to experience physical space. Pop-up store is a great choice to meet existing customers where they live and present your brand to new shoppers. It's a straightforward way to encourage sales without having to spend more money on online customer acquisition.

We're Open - DSers

For example, if you are an online boutique looking to meet your shoppers face-to-face on SBS, many small businesses will see you as added value. Such as salons, spas, gift shops, decor shops, or perhaps you know another home-based online or professional business with which you can share a common space to create a pop-up shop.

Learn more about pop-up stores:

Everything You Need to Know about a Pop-up Store 2022
A pop-up store is a flash retail shop that gets people involved in your brands. The post covers the costs, benefits and how to pick the perfect location for it.

Social Media Advertising

With so many consumers choosing to shop online, social media recommendations have become even more important for small businesses during this holiday season.  You should start publishing and promoting your campaign for Small Business Saturday a few weeks in advance and let your online followers know about your plans for local events and how they can get involved.

Here are two tips for you:

1. Like and share other social media posts about SBS to convey information to customers in your town.

2. Make sure to use theme tags such as #smallbusinesssaturday and #shopsmall to connect with the wider Shop Small community.

American Express offers free materials for small businesses to use on SBS and year-round, such as in-store signs, social media posts, and email templates.

Strengthen Customer Relationships

Shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are great times to strengthen relationships with existing customers and connect with new buyers. The best way to build new, positive customer relationships is to provide excellent customer service. You can offer special services, such as gift-wrapping options during the holidays, and ensure that you or your staff are ready to answer customers' questions.

Buy Local or Byebye Local - DSers

In order to let shoppers easily find contact information, it’s better to provide a FAQ page on your website. And, it is a good idea to reward loyal customers and thank them for their continued business by offering coupons specifically for repeated customers.

To develop new customer relationships, you may need to:

  • Be sure to find a way to stay in touch with any new clients you may bring in this holiday season.
  • Add a pop-up registry to your website to collect contact information for new customers.
  • Constantly share your social media feed and encourage new customers to follow you and stay in touch.

Final Word

It is a daunting task to prepare for a successful Small Business Saturday. However,  in terms of sales earned, lifetime customers won, and benefits provided to the local economy, it is well worth it.

Despite the hard work involved, Small Business Saturday can be a boon for your business if you make the effort to attend events, partner with other small businesses, prepare your business, and market the holiday and sales.

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