Don’t Get Lost in the Crowds: Preparing for Small Business Saturday

For many, the weekend after Thanksgiving has become a shopping tradition. First we had Black Friday, then Cyber Monday and now Small Business Saturday. Since 2010, small independent businesses have a shopping day to call their own as it was created to encourage consumers to shop small to help the economy. Typically, these stores have to compete with the larger, corporate stores throughout the holiday season, Small Business Saturday helps drive attention and boost sales of small stores. This year, November 24th will motivate shoppers to go back to a more relaxed and simpler form of shopping while enjoy the reminiscence of small town life. However, if these smaller businesses are not prepared for the increase in traffic or purchasing power, it could negatively impact their reputation. Assuming the business already has an online presence, below are three tips for SMBs to thrive on Small Business Saturday.

Online Promotions

Along with the coveted Sunday newspaper, research shows that consumers are now using the Internet to find special promotions and discounts for both physical and online purchasing. Offering online promotions have a great effect on consumers. Not only are they saving money but consumers also gain the feeling of exclusivity when they cash in their online discounts. Therefore, businesses should strongly consider offering special coupons to customers to specifically visit their business website. This will encourage visitors to your store on Small Business Saturday as well as drive traffic and interest to your professional site year round.

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Pre-ordering options

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s tends to be the quickest weeks throughout the calendar year. Consumers realistically only have one month to get all their holiday shopping completed. Consider offering consumers the ability to pre-order from the business’s website before they are available in the physical store or even before the holiday shopping season begins. This small offer can guarantee consumers that the products they desire will arrive in time with the increased demand on goods.

Product comparison options

Today, many consumers are letting their computers do the work as they scan through the Internet for the best deals before ever visiting a business’s store. The only way to take advantage of this new trend is to offer full transparency and product comparisons directly on a business’s website. For example, if you are a local technology store offering name brand gadgets and electronics, do a search of your immediate competitors. For competitors that offer the same or similar products, list their prices on your website below the price that you are asking. Not only with this eliminate the work for consumers it will also showcase the direct comparison and the exact amount of money they are saving. This simple task is appreciated by shoppers and increases their level of trust to your brand, encouraging them to come back and recommend you to friends and family.

The holiday season has the potential to be just another time when the small stores get passed over for the one-stop-shop mega-store. However, with events such as Small Business Saturday, local businesses that the opportunity to gain the business and positive recognition that they deserve everyday. However, businesses need to be prepared for the sudden increase in customer traffic and attention or they could invite a negative reaction. By implementing these three steps, small businesses can not only succeed on Small Business Saturday but thrive, creating a lasting impression on consumers all year round.

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