As the holiday season approaches, shoppers have the opportunity to #shopsmall and support local businesses on Saturday, November 26th. Despite the traditional rush of Black Friday shoppers after Thanksgiving, the newer trend of shopping local has reached its 13th year with an impressive record of $23 billion dollars spent on the annual event in 2021. Small Business Saturday reminds customers to connect with the owners behind the storefronts and help neighborhood brands thrive. This is a perfect opportunity to curate a successful shopping experience for your local community. Here’s how to extend a warm welcome to customers on this year’s 2022 Small Business Saturday:
- Host an event
Create promotions that draw in a crowd. Whether you’d like to offer a small discount to everyone who makes a purchase, or to provide a gift certificate that encourages customers to return, deals help invite shoppers to visit. Often, these promotions can increase sales overall. If you want to be extra enticing, plan to have food and drinks that can be served to shoppers while they look around the store. Establish a cozy environment that not only shows your appreciation for your visitors, but makes them feel like they’re experiencing something special. Don’t be afraid to change your store hours to stay open a little longer so that more people can participate.
- Make the most of your online presence
How engaging is your store’s website? How appealing are your company’s social media posts? Do you have an email list of loyal customers to send out reminders of upcoming events and promotions? In today’s digital age, online presence is just as important as the actual store and tends to be the content that consumers engage with first before deciding on whether or not to make the trek to the brick and mortar shop. Remember to highlight your promotions in your posts. Even more helpful for your business is to develop extended services for shopping online such as pre-ordering goods and picking up purchases curbside. As much as we would all love for customers to spend more time in the physical store, sometimes convenience, especially in a post-pandemic world, seems to be a priority. Having as many capabilities for shopping with ease is beneficial.
- Go the extra mile
Consider providing extra offers for shoppers that make the experience feel even more unique. Stores that provide free gift wrapping, samples, or a small free gift with a certain amount spent at the store have added touches that customers remember. It also makes them more likely to share this news with others and become extra willing to return. Think about the other features of your store that make it special and highlight those aspects in your marketing promotion.
- Partner with other businesses
To help encourage community support, reflect on how all of the nearby local businesses can assist one another. Scavenger hunts, store crawls, BINGO cards, and numerous other fun games can be created by all of the small business owners to attract more customers to each shop. Once visitors fill out their game cards, they can receive an extra discount or freebie. This generates some added fun and creativity to the shopping day!
- Keep the ball rolling
Don’t let the momentum of Small Business Saturday slow down after the singular day is over. Use the success of the event to continue creating posts that invite more shoppers, to use the hashtag #ShopSmall to encourage continued customers, and to highlight the wonderful features and goods of your store to the community. Thanking the shoppers who did make it out on the actual day will show your appreciation and grant you with additional respect and loyalty from your growing fanbase.
Remember, the goal of Small Business Saturday is to embrace community and elevate the neighborhood shops we want to see continue to flourish. Make sure that shoppers feel that sense of familiarity and personal touch that can truly only come from shopping local. Going in with a strong, thoughtful plan to appeal to customers is the best way to create a successful holiday shopping season for your business.