4 Tips to SELL BIG on Small Business Saturday | Behalf
On November 25th, 2017, Americans will rally in support of the entrepreneurs in their community for Small Business Saturday. Established in 2010, the vast majority of the country now observes Small Business Saturday with the resolve to “shop small” at local stores and restaurants. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the timing couldn’t be better as holiday shoppers are already armed with their friends and family’s wish lists and cash burning a hole in their pockets. Just last year, 112 million Americans claimed they shopped small for the holiday making it the highest year of participation yet. Though Small Business Saturday is steadily growing in popularity, the actual amount spent is decreasing. In 2016, only an estimated $15.4 billion was spent at small businesses, as opposed to 2015 when shoppers spent $16.2 billion. Last year’s holiday sales revenue is nothing to shake a stick at, but in light of the growth in sales potential, the decrease in actual revenue is troubling. Year round, competitors like Amazon and eBay undercut small businesses with lower prices and better promotions. The drop in last year’s Small Business Saturday sales revenue sheds light on the debate over whether buying from small businesses on Amazon or other digital marketplaces counts towards the holiday or undermines it. Nevertheless, if your small business is a brick-and-mortar shop or a digital storefront, your goal is to convert holiday participants to ensure this year’s Small Business Saturday sales are record breaking. This article highlights a number of ways your small business can get customers to shop small so you can SELL BIG.
1) Marketing Initiatives
With the right marketing strategy, you can command attention on Small Business Saturday for your business and the entire small business community. American Express reports, last year 72% of U.S. consumers were aware of Small Business Saturday. Albeit a high number, that implies 28% of American consumers might still be unaware of the holiday’s existence. Timely marketing initiatives can leverage Small Business Saturday to draw attention to the challenges facing SMB organizations across the country. Invite customers to #ShopSmall at your establishment in celebration of the holiday with a multi-channel social media campaign. Build anticipation with a series of email campaigns highlighting fun facts about your company and shocking statistics about the small business community. Your marketing strategy should leverage Small Business Saturday as a platform to raise awareness and generate more business.
2) Discounts and Promotions
It’s no coincidence that Small Business Saturday falls between the two busiest shopping days of the year. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for your small business to cash in on the holiday shopping frenzy with competitive promotions and deals. In Q3 of 2017, Behalf surveyed its merchant decision makers. 61.5% of survey participants claimed their most common reasons for lost sales were competitors’ lower prices and promotions. On Small Business Saturday, the focus should be on small businesses not their larger competitors. Use it to your advantage with strategic promotions that maximize company profitability and convert shoppers into repeat customers. Offer a set of special item discounts simultaneously with storewide incentives – like a more generous holiday return policy or pricing bundles that increase cart size and AOV.
3) Closing Strategy
Getting customers through the door is one thing, but getting those customers to purchase your goods and services is another. If the statistics from last year’s Small Business Saturday demonstrate anything, it’s that a high volume of shoppers doesn’t in itself guarantee high sales volume. Your sales team still has to sell. There are resources at your disposal for the holiday to help you reach your sales goals. For example, The UPS Store is launching The Closer campaign to help businesses sell more on Small Business Saturday. The campaign offers valuable tips and tools for small business in need of a better sales strategy, including Closer Kit Print Materials like holiday business cards and brochures you can customize and share with customers to get them off-the-fence. Various forms of customer credit – layaway, house accounts, terms – have also been proven closers. If you sell to businesses, accepting Behalf is a convenient and powerful way to enable instant terms for your qualified customers. Any customers who pay for their purchases with Behalf will enjoy up to six months of flexible terms, while you still get paid immediately.
4) Join a Community Event
There’s no shortage of community events on Small Business Saturday. According to a report by American Express, in 2016 over 6,700 Neighborhood Champions created community events from coast to coast to celebrate the holiday. This year you can expect a similar turnout. Have a few employees attend a local event or travel to a nearby town’s event to engage with neighbors and acquire new customers beyond the storefront. Not only is it a great networking opportunity for you to connect with other small businesses in the area, it’s also a chance to raise brand awareness and make personal connections with potential customers in a neutral setting. Dress your team in matching T-shirts with the brand’s logo and have them hand out samples and brochures, so attendees remember your business long after the event.
Last but not least, Small Business Saturday is a celebration, not a publicity stunt. Running a business is both challenging and rewarding. Take the opportunity to reflect on how much your small business has grown and celebrate with the people that helped you get to this point.