Sheri Lambert, associate professor of marketing at Temple University's Fox School of Business, said that not too long ago, there was a rumor going around that brick-and-mortar stores were dead and online shopping was the future. Those reports were wrong. “Bricks and mortar is not dead,” Lambert said.
But sometimes buyers need a reminder of what they love about in-person shopping. That means personal attention, the experience of being able to touch and try on products, and the knowledge that their purchase will have a positive impact on that business. This is especially true for small and medium-sized businesses. Small Business Saturday is all this and more.
Small Business Saturday, the biggest shopping day of the year along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, has become an annual shopping tradition for many. Created by American ExpressAXP in 2010 to draw attention to and consolidate support for small and medium-sized businesses, the day is an opportunity for mom-and-pop retailers, small service providers, and micromanufacturers to shine. It has evolved.
Although it was just one day, this 24-hour support for small and medium-sized enterprises has achieved great results.of 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey The magazine, funded by American Express, reported that on that day in 2022, U.S. consumers and small businesses spent an estimated $17.9 billion.
This year, many businesses are extending Small Business Saturday into Small Business Week and even Small Business Month.
This means it's not too late for small business owners to prepare and promote all the reasons consumers should stop by during the holiday shopping season.
To achieve a short-term or long-term sales spike thanks to Small Business Saturday, consider taking one or more of the following steps to attract shoppers to your business and encourage them to spend. please.
Let's make it an experience
“The longer a shopper stays in a store, the more money they spend,” Lambert says. The key is to give them a reason to stay. It doesn't have to be a full-fledged event like a show or product demonstration, but it's a good idea to offer a service that shoppers will appreciate.
For example, at Posh Collections, a women's clothing boutique in Malvern, Pa., owner Tina Corrado offers free photos of pets with Santa on Small Business Saturday. She not only hires Santa for the day, but also staffs up to make sure she has plenty of handlers to manage the pets while her owners shop and helpers to take Polaroid photos of the cute companions on Santa's lap. are also placed. The fact that Collard's store doesn't sell pet supplies is irrelevant. She knows her best customers and they take their dogs with them everywhere they go.
Brittany Cox, owner of Southern Local, which sells apparel and gifts, is taking a similar approach, opening other boutiques in Alpharetta City Center, Ga., as a way to drive awareness and traffic ahead of Small Business Saturday. and hosts a block party once a month. He expects more than 200 shoppers to turn up on Saturday, and the store will be offering Prosecco to soothe the mood. Cox wants shopping to feel “like going to a house party.” I want everyone to feel comfortable enough to socialize, laugh, and ask for help. ”
Lambert says that by keeping customers in the store longer, they are also more likely to spend more.
focus on service
Especially during the holiday season, customers will choose something easy over something difficult. This is why valet parking operations are so common in malls, for example. Lambert advises thinking about how you can incorporate more customer service into your business. Not only will this attract more buyers, but your customers will likely stay longer and spend more money.
Making shopping easier can be as simple as providing a comfy upholstered chair for a tired friend or a free coffee or mimosa for a parched patron. Lambert suggests offering free gift wrapping as another attraction. Being able to walk out with a gift already wrapped is a huge benefit for customers.
Collaborate with other local businesses
A few years ago, the city of Princeton, Indiana, created Monopoly-inspired cards to encourage shoppers to visit each participating business on Small Business Saturday, said a business based there. Scott Hartley, who runs the company, reported. Each store stamped the shopper's card, and once the card was full, the shopper was entered into a drawing for a gift certificate of a corresponding amount that could be redeemed at any participating store. “This not only increased foot traffic and sales on Small Business Saturday, but also resulted in repeat visits from a large number of residents,” Hartley said.
“The power of Saturday small business, especially local retail, is community,” he says.
However, collaboration doesn't have to be limited to local businesses. Abby Michaelsen, founder and CEO of Statement Home, which sells Jack of All Trays, shared other small business brands on social media during Small Business Saturday. We are promoting business to those small and medium-sized enterprises. she says: She says, “We want to introduce other women-owned small businesses that we think our customers will love, especially those with products that make great gifts.”
provide a sneak peak
Diamantis Pierakos, co-owner of Laconico in Manassas, Virginia, which produces artisanal olive oil from trees in his retail store, is shopping. He suggests using Small Business Saturday to bring customers into stores and sample new products and flavors that aren't yet available online. The family's Greek mansion. For an interesting message to entice customers to stop by, try saying, “First…” Then wow them with your products and services so they become long-time fans of your business.
Peek behind the scenes
Michaelsen of Statement Home doesn't have a brick-and-mortar business, so he works hard to give shoppers a look inside the inner workings of a small business online. Michaelsen's marketing for Small Business Saturday “features my story, photos, videos, and successes of the day from my garage to launching my business,” she says.
Rather than advertising dollar or percentage discounts like many big box stores, she seeks to highlight her business story to get noticed.
Similarly, Carmen Lopez, founder of Current Boutique, a designer and vintage pre-owned boutique that operates online and in three brick-and-mortar locations, says, I try to make connections.’ Make it all happen. ” That means putting the spotlight on our staff and showing behind-the-scenes videos of our daily operations and inventory, “so they feel more connected to our business.” ” she says.
Hanging gifts with purchase
Southern Local's Cox had small businesses create custom sweatshirts and give them away with every $175 purchase. “In My Shop Small Era” is embroidered on the front of the sweatshirt.
This year, many companies are offering gifts with purchases as a way to encourage spending. For example, businesses of all sizes advertise that they offer additional gift cards for free with the purchase of a gift card. Offering complementary products with purchases from a particular brand is another way to differentiate your business.
At this time of year, promotions and ads promoting deep discounts tend to get lost in the crowd. Shoppers can feel overwhelmed by the amount of information flooding their inboxes. That's why Lopez always asks for business. “One of the most effective ways to increase sales on popular shopping days,” she says, “is to encourage customers to come in and shop on those days.”
Lambert also advises small businesses to be innovative this year. “Thinking outside the box” and offering more of what buyers value, including free same-day delivery from local shops to foil car thieves, free snacks and free childcare. This holiday imagine what is making him difficult to shop for this season and suggest it. “Take it easy,” Lambert recommends.
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