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October 31, 2019

Get Ready for Small Business Saturday

It’s no secret that Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, when big box stores put their greatest deals on display.  While Black Friday gets its national recognition for a boom in transactions for retail stores, it’s the following day that smaller businesses gear up for an uptick in sales.

Formally declared by American Express, Small Business Saturday (SBS is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Starting in 2010, this national “holiday” was created to help smaller, local companies that were struggling to make ends meet from the recession. Its purpose was to encourage consumers to “shop small” and support their local, neighborhood businesses.

In 2018, AmEx claimed that consumers spent a record high of $17.8 billion with independent retailers and restaurants on this special day. Are you ready for that kind of influx to your business? With this in mind, how are you going to prepare your small business for the big day? Keep reading for some tips.

Hire Additional Staff

Many people seek additional work during the holiday season to help fund their gift giving. Start posting on social media and at your store that you’re looking for extra hands, specifically for SBS.

With more guests coming to your location, you can anticipate the need for more staff. For many customers, it could be their first experience with your company, so customer experience is key. In fact, one study found that when customers have the option to choose a retailer, they use the following factors to make their decision:

  • convenient shopping experience (45%)
  • easy-to-make purchases (40%)
  • positive shopping experience (39%)
  • receive incentives to shop with that retailer (34%)
  • easy-to-make returns (32%)

Since a majority of these factors can be influenced by your staff, it’s critical that you have enough help on SBS.

Prepare Your Website

Although the original purpose of SBS was to physically bring customers to a store front, many small businesses are leveraging their website as a way to make more sales on this holiday. With 81% of shoppers doing online research before making a purchase, your website needs to be ready to handle the influx of traffic.

Make sure your website can technically handle many visitors at once by getting in touch with the company that hosts your website. It would be a huge setback for your site to crash on the biggest day of the year for you. From a product perspective, update your listings with SBS sale pricing and promo codes, if applicable.

Optimize Your Storefront

The way your store is laid out plays a critical role in your customers’ experience in it. Did you know that 90% of customers come in and turn right? If you put your newest items on the left side of the store, only 10% of customers are going to see them at first glance.

In addition to optimizing location of new products, consider your customers’ shopping timeline: are they more likely to make a quick purchase or take their time browsing? This can inform where you position certain racks, displays, and products.

Finally, you want to declutter the space. Princeton University confirmed that a cluttered space distracts the mind from being able to focus, which is the opposite of what you want customers to do upon entry to your store.

Make an effort to organize your storefront and put unnecessary or outdated items away in storage, at least for the time being. Not only will it help them focus better, but it will also provide more ample walking space, as you’ll have more visitors in the store at once.

The weekend after Thanksgiving is notorious for “big crowds” while shopping, so help your guests feel more comfortable by clearing the walkways in your store.

Offer Special Discounts and Promotions

It’s a day to celebrate your locality and success, so create unique discounts for your customers. Whether it’s exclusive to online or in-store shopping, you can entice more customers by having a one-day-only sale.

You could also partner with your neighboring small businesses to offer a collaborative promotion. Print and distribute a map just for SBS that features each small business in the area participating in the promotion. You can help create a unique and memorable shopping experience for guests that gets them the best possible deals in town.

 

Are you feeling ready for Small Business Saturday? Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Working ahead of time can ensure the holiday is a success and runs smoothly.

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