Small Business Saturday is occurs annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage consumers to visit small businesses for holiday shopping. Use these five Small Business Saturday marketing ideas to set the stage for a profitable holiday marketing push.
The right Small Business Saturday marketing ideas can boost holiday sales.
In the U.S., Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year.
Traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been the busiest shopping day of the year in the US. With the advent of the internet and increasing proliferation of home PC and mobile shopping, Black Friday has been joined by ‘Cyber Monday;’ and now, by Small Business Saturday. The first Small Business Saturday was observed in November 2010, and falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, to round out the trio of shopping observances that officially “kick off” the annual holiday shopping season.
Small Business Saturday was established to remind holiday shoppers that local independent retail, service and restaurants may have some of the most creative and unique options for holiday gift giving or decorating, and to encourage them to give local merchants a chance to earn some of their holiday shopping dollars.
Effective Small Business Saturday marketing gives small business owners the opportunity to connect with a large percentage of local shoppers in a short period of time. As these shoppers discover new restaurants, shops and service businesses in their neighborhoods, this could be the beginning of a long term customer relationship, loyalty, referrals and word of mouth marketing.
As important as it is for local independent businesses to attract and engage shoppers during the super-busy holiday shopping season, it is not going to happen by accident!
Small Business Saturday Marketing – 5 Keys to a Successful Day for Local, Independent Merchants
1. Serve Up Unique Holiday Items
One of the advantages independent businesses have over big box retail and chain stores is the ability to stock one of a kind, unique items year round. This is an advantage you should strive to capitalize on during the holidays, especially.
In order to get the attention and word of mouth marketing of not only new customers but your regular customers, you need to change things up during the holiday shopping season in order to boost sales of gift cards or gift certificates, holiday decorating wares of holiday gift inventory.
This would be a great time to partner with local independent artists, craftsmen, screen printers and other professionals in your community to come up with holiday gift giving ideas that have a local twist or feature the designs or work of local independent artisans, hobby enthusiasts and craftsmen.
2. Serve Up Traffic-Attracting Online Content
Add content to your website, blog and social networks with suggested shopping lists, lots of photos and holiday suggestions at least once each week, if not more often.
Use social networks, email marketing, mobile marketing and text messaging to let your customers and prospects know about your holiday wares in real time, at the times when they are most likely to be searching for holiday seasonal entertainment, dining, decorating or gift giving ideas.
3. Serve Up Compelling, Personalized Offers
Chain retail, restaurant and service businesses usually have a one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to holiday offers. Local independent businesses can take advantage and customize their holiday marketing to include compelling, personalized offers during the holidays that are tailored to the unique buying habits and preferences of their customers and other members of their target audiences.
4. Serve Up Specific Suggestions
Don’t assume that your customers and other members of your target audience know what you have to offer during the holidays, or that they can connect the dots between the people on their holiday shopping list and your gift cards, gift certificates, holiday gift items or regular retail items. Use online and offline marketing channels to make specific suggestions pairing what you have to sell with the co-workers, friends, family members, party hosts, coaches, teachers and others that might be on their gift list during the holidays.
5. Serve Up Reasons to Bounce Back
Use online marketing and the point of sale to capture customer contact information so that you can extend a bounce back offer in the New Year (or even another offer during the holiday season). And be sure that you punctuate each point of sale experience by extending a reward redeemable at their next visit or in the New Year.