Millions of people will brave the impossible parking and crowds and head out shopping early next Friday (or even late Thursday night) for Black Friday deals, the eZanga.com team will be shopping small the next day. Since 2010, sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday was created by American Express to help small, local businesses get more exposure during what is arguably the biggest shopping weekend of the year, and the rest of the holiday season.
American Express says in their FAQ that “Small Business Saturday is a day for everyone — from the business owners who create jobs to the customers who buy locally — to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving.” In 2011, over 100 million shoppers turned up to support small businesses in their communities and American Express reported that they saw a 23% increase in Cardmember transactions at small businesses.
American Express is working to rally small business owners together by offering them free resources to promote their businesses. They offer signage for brick-and-mortar stores, downloadable email and social media templates to promote online, and success stories from previous years to use as inspiration for events and promotions. Additionally, American Express is even offering free, geo-targeted online advertisements for qualifying small businesses.
But American Express realizes that the Small Business Saturday also relies on shoppers. That’s why they are offering incentives for American Express cardholders. Eligible Cardmembers who enroll their credit card at www.ShopSmall.com between November 18 and 24 will receive a $25 statement credit for spending at least $25 on a single in-store transaction at a qualifying small business. There is a map of qualifying small businesses on both the Shop Small and Small Business Saturday websites.
As a small business, what can you do to attract shoppers on Small Business Saturday on November 24?
- Promote your participation in Small Business Saturday in print and online advertising as well as in email and social media marketing.
- If possible, have your business included on the Shop Small map of small businesses.
- Offer extended hours for holiday shoppers. This is something big businesses have taken to the extreme, with some even opening for Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day.
- Join or form an alliance with other small businesses in your community.
- Offer in-store promotions for customers choosing to shop small.
eZanga.com has always supported small businesses and will continue to do so on Small Business Saturday and far into the future. We have attended small business trade shows, support National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, and our CEO was named a Small Business Influencer Community Choice Honoree in 2012 and a Top 100 Influencer in 2011. We even have a new online advertising solution specifically for small business, AdPad Business Connect.
We want small businesses to succeed, so we will be doing our holiday shopping a week from Saturday. If you are participating in Small Business Saturday as well, what are you doing for it? Share below in the comments!