Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express as way to help local independent retailers compete with big box retailers and the deep discounts of online stores. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is November 30th this year.
Last year, consumers spent over $5.5 Billion in support of local business that weekend, and this year that number looks to be even higher. This is certainly not an endorsement for American Express, the sponsor of this event, and you don’t have to accept American Express cards to participate. But why not participate in bringing attention to local retail? You simply have to be independent and not part of a franchise to receive a listing and an online ad.
5 Tips to Get Ready:
1. Advertise! Download the Shop Small® logo and use it on your website and in your social media marketing. Start promoting the event now with your customers by giving them a flyer at checkout. Offer a drawing to get customer emails for your online promotions. Rally other local merchants in your community with these resources.
2. Offer Free Gift Wrapping – Order your gift wrapping supplies from Nashville Wraps now to set up your wrapping station. Of course, we had to say that because we know we have the best deals in town right now! But we also have the best customer service, super-fast shipping and beautiful exclusive designs like this Woodland Frost Collection you won’t find anywhere else!
Since your store will be extra busy that day, you might want to focus on gift packaging that is fast to put together – like choosing Christmas shopping bags and tissue paper over gift wrap if customers have more than one item to wrap. (Read our blog “Free Gift Wrapping Service Encourages Your Customers to Shop Local.”)
3. Hire Extra (Friendly) Help – Long lines on that day may seem inevitable, but give your customers a break and make a good impression on new ones by getting them checked out as quickly as possible. This is your time to shine over the discount and mall stores, so make sure your team has smiling faces that look customers in the eye when helping them.
4. Take a Fresh Look – Ask a friend who has never been to your shop to walk through and offer their opinion on your store’s layout, lighting and merchandising. Is your store easy to shop, pretty and super clean? Does it look and smell like the holidays? Does it have the sounds of the season? Michel Bublé’s Christmas CD is my choice for background music that will make customers happy to spend money! Also, make sure you offer unique point-of-purchase items for added sales along with pre-wrapped gifts-to-go. Finally, make your store window extra special for potential customers just passing by.
5. Outrageous Doorbuster Deals – The bottom line is that customers want super deals. Of course they want to support your store, but give them an extra incentive to get up early that day and be glad they stopped by even if it means you break even on a couple items.
Nashville Wraps is all about promoting and supporting local, independent business owners because we are a small business ourselves. You are what make the world go round for us. Keep calm and shop small, ya’ll!
And watch this short video to be inspired: