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4 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Shopping Rush
  • 15 November 2018
  • Rebecca Delaney

4 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Shopping Rush

Small Business Saturday® is a day to celebrate and support small businesses, and it will be here before we know it. Celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the holiday has become an established part of the annual kickoff to the holiday shopping season. If you’re a small business retailer, Small Business Saturday day is a great way to start your holiday season strong and capitalize on the Shop Small® movement by attracting customers looking to shop small and support local community businesses.

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According to 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey produced by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business, 108 million consumers shopped or ate at local independently owned businesses and spent nearly $13 billion on Small Business Saturday last year. Follow these fours tips to ensure your business is ready for the holiday rush this year:

1. Decide on what special offers you can provide

To draw customers in on November 24, come up with unique promotions and discounts you do not typically provide throughout the year. Consider offering deals to customers who come in early, and make sure the promotions are limited to just Small Business Saturday.

You may also want to tie promotions to the holiday season as much as possible and offer discounts on popular gift items or services customers typically need around the holidays.

2. Promote via social media, email marketing and advertising campaigns

Create buzz and get your customers excited for Small Business Saturday with a thought-out campaign using your social media channels and current email marketing list. Use Facebook and Instagram to not only publicize any discounts your business will offer but to also tell the story of your independently owned business and how it came to be. You may also want to post throwback photos of when you first opened or what first got you excited about the industry or field.

After all, your personal story of how and why you became a small business owner is what makes your business special! Use the hashtag #SmallBizSat or #ShopSmall in your posts. If you have time, consider sending out a targeted direct mail postcard to local residents with a coupon or promotion to advertise your kickoff to the holidays.

3. Make your business a holiday shopping destination for families

Consider ways that you can bring the spirit of the holidays into your business in a way that gives your customers a little something extra.

Offer a fun photo booth to get customers to sign up for your email newsletters (so that you can stay top of mind with them) and then share copies of the photos with them. Perhaps you provide holiday treats and warm drinks for the early bird shoppers.

Select a local non-profit organization to help support throughout the holidays, and ask your customers to get involved. Maybe it’s collecting food items, clothing, or unwrapped gifts. Coordinate with the receiving organization and ask some of your most loyal customers to be a part of the delivery of the collected goods. Take pictures, capture quotes from participants, and be sure to share in social media, email and on your website.

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4. Team up with other small businesses in your community

Collaborate with other small business owners to create special bundled packages that combine products and services from multiple organizations. For example, a discounted haircut could be combined with a makeup consultation/application, or a deal at a local bakery could be packaged with a discount at a wine and cheese shop for those with holiday entertaining plans.

Some towns and cities have scavenger hunts set up on Small Business Saturday, in which customers have to find certain items on a list and travel around to various stores throughout town. If they find all the items, they receive a discount or special prize. As they look for the items on the list, they visit stores they might not typically visit and perhaps find the perfect gift. Contact your Chamber of Commerce to set up a similar hunt to encourage customers to pop into all the small businesses in your area.

Have fun with Small Business Saturday. It can be a great way to celebrate your business with the local community and get into the holiday spirit with your customers.

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