With the holiday season fast approaching, business owners everywhere (including us!) are gearing up for the sometimes dreaded Black Friday weekend. Not only will every retailer under the sun be offering deals and sales, this year will be a completely different story due to the pandemic. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday get most of the attention during the post-thanksgiving shopping rush, Small Business Saturday is just as vital.
What is Small Business Saturday? Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday started as a way to fill the shopping gap between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but also a way to support smaller businesses that typically get buried underneath corporate behemoths like Amazon and Apple.
If you run a small or medium sized business, taking advantage of Small Business Saturday is a must. Not only will more shoppers be searching for small businesses to support, but they will be looking for deals too. How do you prepare for Small Business Saturday? Here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of this holiday season.
Keep Things Simple
Holiday shopping is stressful enough as is. It is essential to make a shopper’s experience simple and straightforward. Keep your deals simple by limiting choices, offering easy-to-use coupons and utilizing online marketing. The last thing you want to do is confuse shoppers with a convoluted sale. For example, here are two different sale options:
Save 20% on only lavender, clove and cherry scented candles. All other flavors are only 10% off and only when you use promo code CANDLE20 at checkout with a purchase of $50 or more.
All candles are 20% when you use CANDLE20 at checkout.
Not only is the first example confusing (it stressed me out just to write it!), but it assumes that your shoppers will take the time to actually read all of it. With a majority of shopping being done online these days, users are constantly bombarded with information and deals. Make sure your sales stand out by keeping them simple and effective.
When you think of Black Friday weekend, what comes to mind? Standing in line on Thanksgiving night waiting for shops to open? Fighting with another customer over the last TV? Dealing with a store full of stressed-out holiday shoppers?
Skip the hassle and play it safe this year by going virtual. Not only will it be less stressful for you and your staff, but you cut down your risk for COVID-19 exposure (not to mention it’s also cold and flu season!).
Show your shoppers you hold their safety as your highest priority by offering virtual sales. For many shoppers, going to a physical store is not an option this year. Incentivize people for shopping online by offering free shipping, curbside pickup or local delivery. Go the extra mile by offering gift wrapping or freebies.
Before Small Business Saturday, ensure your website is up to date and all coupon codes are working properly. The last thing you need is a website crash or system error to ruin your potential sales.
If your social media pages need a holiday boost, consider doing a giveaway. Similar to a raffle, giveaways are great for boosting your followers and engagement. Consider making a holiday bundle giveaway or collaborating with another small business. How do giveaways work?
Pick a product or service that you don’t mind letting go for free, or put together a few small items as a giveaway bundle.
Post your product to social media (Instagram works especially well for giveaways) and describe the rules for participating in the giveaway.
While giveaway rules vary, users are typically asked to do one of the following:
Follow your page.
Like the giveaway post.
Tag two or three friends in the giveaway.
A winner is chosen at random at the end of the giveaway.
Set a time limit for the giveaway, most are set for 12-24 hours.
Pick a winner at random by using an online random name picker or choose one manually.
Be Extra Patient With Your Staff
The holidays are stressful for everyone, including your staff. If you plan to be open at a physical location, your staff may be anxious and scared for the flood of customers and potential virus exposure.
Make sure you have enough staff members on hand for Small Business Saturday to properly divide the workload. Offer holiday pay if you can or offer a bonus for working extra hours. The last thing you want is low staff morale during this time of year. Ensure your staff feels appreciated and respected.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
The most crucial thing to do when preparing for Small Business Saturday is promotions. Utilize any tools you have available to reach the most number of customers. If you haven’t started email campaigns, start now! Shopper’s inboxes are about to be overloaded with promotions and deals, so get ahead of the curve if possible. Check out this sneak peak of our most recent email campaign.
Consider sending out a physical mailer to local customers to make them feel appreciated. For small businesses, social media is our bread and butter. Promote your deals online as much as possible and build anticipation for Small Business Saturday. Take some extra time to work on graphics, photos and SEO to get the most out of your posts.
One vital thing to remember is there is a fine line between adequate posting and spamming. While you may post more than normal during the holiday season, do not overdo it! If you spam your followers with constant promotions, they may unfollow you or consider shopping elsewhere.
Let Us Help You
Navigating a small business during the holidays is a difficult task. Luckily, we are here to help. We assist small businesses of any kind with promotions, social media, websites and branding. Ensure you are locked and loaded for small business Saturday by letting us take care of marketing. Contact us today for a free quote or take advantage of our Black Friday bundles and save money on your marketing materials.