Small Business Saturday Reminds Consumers To Shop Local After Black Friday Deals
Launched in 2010 by American Express, the event helps independent merchants compete on the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
As consumers flood big brand retailers today searching for Black Friday deals, many small businesses are hitting their social pages to remind shoppers about tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday event.
Originally launched in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday has become a nationally recognized day to help small businesses compete on the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
Tomorrow’s event on November 29 is expected to help generate more than $5.5 billion for small businesses.
According to retail expert and spokesperson for Small Business Saturday Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle consumers spent more than $5.7 billion with the independent merchants last year thanks to the power of Shop Small – an increase of 3.6 percent from 2012.
She expects even more consumers to support tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday event.
“In 2013, more than 346,000 free online tools and materials were accessed by small business owners on ShopSmall.com, and 1,400 Neighborhood Champions – consisting of communities and small business groups – participated in Small Business Saturday,” said Leinbach-Reyhle.
This will be Boston retailer Olives and Grace’s second year to take part in Small Business Saturday.
“Last year we had a huge turnout,” said Olives and Grace store owner Sophie Madison who sells small batch food products and handmade gifts, “We’re looking forward to another strong year.”
For last year’s event, Madison said she began posting Small Business Saturday messaging on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram two weeks ahead of the date, but started a month out this time around.
“This year, we started about a month early so that we can get as many people involved as possible,” said Madison.
To promote the event, Madison uses email marketing, Facebook and Instagram where the store has won more than 4,000 followers.
“Most of our social media engagement is through Intstagram,” said Madison.
To help participating businesses, American Express has partnered with the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“The Small Business Saturday Twitter handle @ShopSmall has nearly 37,000 followers,” said Leinbach-Reyhle, “And Instagram followers can connect with Small Business Saturday at instagram.com/ShopSmall.”
American Express also has partnered with Etsy and online event planning tool Eventbrite, where shoppers can search for Small Business Saturday trunk shows and events.
Madison said Eventbrite and social media are her two strongest channels for promoting her store’s Small Business Saturday event.
According to Leinbach-Reyhle, millions of shoppers, including President Obama, came out to support last year’s Small Business Saturday.
“Peaceful Parlour, a Geneva, Illinois based retailer who took part in Small Business Saturday in 2013, had its most successful day ever in sales,” said Leinbach-Reyhle, “And the store had been open five years already at that time.”
Olives and Grace’s Madison said her neighbors are incredibly supportive of her shop and Small Business Saturday is one way she can show how much she appreciates them.
“This is a special campaign because we are able to really thank our customers,” said Madison, “We are always supporting small businesses, but this event allows us to get our neighbors and customers really excited about everything they do to keep us thriving.”
Businesses and communities can register for the event, and locate Small Business Saturday campaign and event marketing tools on American Express owned ShopSmall.com. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 25 locations and a net revenue of less than $10 million a year.