Small Business Saturday: Tips for Local Businesses

11.15.2022 Sara Brasfield3 min

The retail event known as Small Business Saturday was originally created to help small businesses increase their visibility and sales during a holiday shopping season increasingly dominated by major retail brands. With online and big-box retailers dominated Black Friday promotions, Small Business Saturday helps remind consumers of the importance of shopping local.

And consumers have bought into Small Business Saturday in a big way: last year, the one-day sales event generated an estimated $23.3 billion in sales for U.S. businesses. The event is also credited with increasing consumer intent to make purchases from local businesses, with 80 percent of consumers reporting that they plan to “shop small” at some point during the holiday season.

For local retailers, the holiday shopping season can carry enormous implications. Struggling businesses may view this time of year as make-it-or-break-it for their company, while the vast majority of retailers are banking on a successful holiday season to push their year-end profit into the black.

Taking place this year on November 26, Small Business Saturday can be a perfect launching pad for your holiday retail strategy. And, with the right promotional strategy, this one-day event can help your business grow its customer base and audience for the long run. Read on for some tips on how to make the most of this year’s Small Business Saturday.

Get Loud on Social Media

Greater visibility and awareness are one of the top outcomes of participating in Small Business Saturday—but promoting this retail event ahead of time can also increase the number of people visiting your store and making purchases on this day.

Remember to post to social media about any special events or promotions taking place on Small Business Saturday. Discounts, giveaways, door prizes, in-store events and other incentives should be highlighted through all of your brand’s owned media channels. It might also be worth investing in paid promotion of your best social media posts to reach relevant audiences beyond your current social media following.

Offer Giveaways and Other Rewards for In-Person Visits

For brick-and-mortar businesses, Small Business Saturday is a golden opportunity to fill your retail store with in-person shoppers. Whether you’re in a high-traffic retail area or in a commercial location that doesn’t naturally see a lot of outside foot traffic, free giveaways, door prizes, and other promotions can give shoppers a fun reason to step inside and see what your business has to offer.

The hope for this promotion is that the cost of these small giveaways will be offset by the increased sales created by increased store activity.

Cross-Promote With Neighboring and Nearby Businesses

Small Business Saturday is most effective when your business is able to leverage outside foot traffic and nearby shoppers to draw in visitors who might not otherwise visit your business.

One promotion strategy is to create a Small Business Saturday passport that is marked each time a shopper visits a local business. When all of the destinations have been marked off, the passport can be used for a special discount or prize. Alternatively, businesses may want to work together to host an event—such as a holiday concert, or an appearance from Santa—that takes place in a shared parking lot or community space, and brings a crowd to your retail area.

Bundle Items to Increase Sales

Discounts are one of the most common promotions used to attract shoppers and drive sales. But for small businesses chasing slim profit margins, these discounts can cut into much-needed holiday revenue.

At the same time, many consumers are bargain-hunting when they start their holiday shopping. Local retailers can meet shoppers in the middle by creating product bundles that offer a built-in discount in exchange for a larger purchase. Instead of discounting individual items, shoppers essentially increase their savings by increasing their purchase volume, which nets better gross revenue for your business.

Geotarget Ads to Nearby Shoppers

Want to raise awareness of your business and your exciting one-day events? Geotargeted ads can be delivered to nearby consumers—including visitors to neighboring big-box retailers—to concentrate ad exposures to engaged, active shoppers who might be interested in visiting your store.

A digital advertising partner can help you plan and launch this campaign to extend your Small Business Saturday reach.

In need of expert help to improve your planning around Small Business Saturday and other key retail events? A digital advertising partner can help you develop an advertising strategy that is aligned with your business goals and optimized for better results. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than seven years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the (now virtual!) office, Sara loves spending time running, reading and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

View All of Sara Brasfield's Blog Posts

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