Small Business Saturday: Don't Forget The Little Guy
The Biggest Shopping Days Of The Year
We're all abundantly familiar with Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving, during which the familiar big box retailers run some of their best sales of the year. And most of us have come to know the more recent phenomenon of Cyber Monday - the Monday following Black Friday, naturally, which features the year's best deals from e-commerce shops.
Big Sales Means Big Money
These often frenzied shopping days are a huge boon to the retailers that can take advantage of them. This shows through in the very name "Black Friday", which was coined in the first place as a nod to the idea that large retail businesses operate "in the red", or at loss, from January through November, and don't start making a yearly profit, that is, being "in the black", until the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush.
What About The Little Guy?
But what about those retailers that fit in between giant brick and mortar vendors and popular online shops? I'm speaking, of course, of the venerable small business.
Enter American Express, who have long been friendly toward the smaller retailer. In 2010, AmEx concluded that if the buying public is whipped into a shopping frenzy on a Friday and then again on the following Monday, there's probably a good chance to drum up some Saturday business in between.
Small Business Saturday
American Express has publicized their trademarked term "Small Business Saturday" for the past five years. They've promoted the Twitter hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday as a way to encourage shoppers to patronize small and local shops over big businesses.
A Serious Initiative
More than simply paying lip service to the idea of shopping small, American Express has invested significantly in the Small Business Saturday campaign, buying traditional radio and television advertising as well as Facebook advertising, which it has given away to small merchant account holders.
In addition, AmEx has provided customers with rebates to promote the initiative, and taken to social media and public relations to publicize their actions. All told, the Small Business Saturday campaign has notched over a million Facebook "likes."
The story doesn't end with AmEx. All around the country, local governments and business organizations are helping to promote their hometown small retailers. Last year saw over 3000 Small Business Saturday events take place throughout the country. Consumer awareness showed strong with 88 million shoppers buying, an increase of 14.9% from the previous year.
The appeal is universal. The President shops small that day. Young or old, local or federal, there is no one in politics who fails to make a show of support for small businesses. And an astounding 94% of shoppers said that shopping small makes them "feel good." This valuable shopping day is now too big to ignore, so make sure to get in contact with your own local organizations to find out how you can participate.
Get In On The Action
Small business owners can find great success running their own Saturday marketing specials throughout the month of November, as customers in this time period are shopping more actively than at any other point of the year. Put the marketing weight of American Express, along with local government and business organizations, to work for you. Capitalize on the valuable holiday shopping season with a dedicated plan for Small Business Saturday.