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Falling on the day after Black Friday in the US, Small Business Saturday takes a different look at shopping. From retail giants to independent shops, the shopping days following Thanksgiving offers something for everyone.

After speaking to some of our customers, we discovered many independent retailers are unaware of Small Business Saturday! This blog will tell you everything you need to know about Small Business Saturday.

 

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop small by supporting small and local businesses. The shopping event celebrates small, independent businesses and aims to build up a community feeling in local areas.

It all kicked off with American Express launching the shopping event in 2010, in the US. It has since got off the ground in the UK when the first small business Saturday began in 2013.

It encourages shoppers to stray away from the high street names we all know and spend their money with independent retailers and small businesses.

 

“Helping small businesses do more business.”

- Shop Small -


 

“5 million small businesses, 1 big day”

- Small Business Saturday UK -

 


When is Small Business Saturday?

 

US - November 28th 2015

Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 28th this year.

 
UK - December 5th 2015

In the UK, Small Business Saturday takes place on the first Saturday in December. This year it’s on December 5th.

 

History of Small Business Saturday

US
2010
  • American Express launched Small Business Saturday.
2011
  • Small Business Saturday was officially recognized by U.S. Senate.
2012
  • 73.9 million people shopped at small businesses.
2013
  • 1,450+ individuals and local organizations signed up to rally their communities as Neighbourhood Champions.
2014
  • American Express estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on the Saturday.
  • 88 million people shopped on Small Business Saturday.

 

UK
2013
  • The year it all began in the UK.
  • The government supported the first ever UK Small Business Saturday and it was a huge success.
  • 13.8 million people shopped in small independent businesses on the day.
2014
  • 16.5 million shoppers visited small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday.
  • 64% of UK consumers were aware of the day.
  • Over 3.5 million Facebook views.
  • #SmallBizSatUK trended all day on 6th December 2014.

How can you participate in Small Business Saturday?

It’s not too late to get involved and it’s super easy! Here’s how you can take part in the US and the UK:

 

US
1. Apply

Apply online to receive free marketing materials including event guides, printable signage, email templates, social posts and Shop Small logos. If you’re an American Express Card Accepting Merchant you can additionally get free online ads throughout the year and appearance on the Shop Small Map.

2. Build a Buzz

Use your social materials to create a buzz before Small Business Saturday. Your social media accounts are a great and free way of letting people know you’re taking part in Small Business Saturday. Use the hashtag #ShopSmall to join the Small Business Saturday Community on Twitter.

 

3. Make your Shop Appealing

Focus on merchandising for Small Business Saturday and make your store visually appealing to entice customers to buy. Why not use Shop Small posters and logos to further attract customers?

 

UK
1. Register

Register for Small Business Saturday online here to get your business on the Small Business Finder. The Small Business Finder allows people to search for small businesses taking part in their local area and directs to each business's website. Take advantage of the free advertisement by registering today!

 

2. Download Resources

You can download your very own information toolkit to help you out with planning the event and download the official logos to share on your website or social media.

 
3.Request Marketing Pack

Small Business Saturday UK are offering free marketing packs to help you decorate your store for the main event. The pack includes posters and a window sticker to help get you noticed on the shopping day. Request your marketing pack by Monday 23rd November to ensure you get it in time.

 

4.Shout on Social

Use the power of social media to help raise awareness of your participation in the shopping event. Use the Small Business Saturday logo to grab attention. Check out the Social Media Guide to give you some social tips.

Not only shout about it on your own social media, but take Small Business Saturday up on their offer to give you a shout out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Let them know your plans and they’ll shout about them!

Now you’ve signed up and are getting involved, here are some tips that have worked for retailers in the past which you can apply to your business for Small Business Saturday to win over your shoppers.

 

5 Top Tips for Small Business Saturday

 

1. Use the hashtags on Twitter

The most popular ones include #SmallBusinessSaturday, #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSatUK. Why not mention the official Twitter accounts too? You might get a re-tweet! @ShopSmall for US small businesses and @SmallBizSatUK for the UK.

 

2. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Many of your visitors on Small Business Saturday will be new customers and it’s a great opportunity to build customer loyalty. Be extra friendly because if they leave happy, they’ll be more likely to return!

 
3. Special offers or celebrations

Why not put on some special offers to entice shoppers to visit you? Or hold a celebration of small and independent businesses to get those customers through the door.

 

4. Take pictures and videos

Take pictures and videos throughout the day and post them on your social media. An enticing picture may persuade people to come down and visit you.

 

5. Display Small Business Saturday Signs

Take advantage of the brand behind Small Business Saturday by using posters in your shop window and store. Small Business Saturday is recognised by many people and may grab shoppers attention.

 


You don’t have to have a large budget to get involved with Small Business Saturday and it’s a great opportunity to compete with larger retailers, celebrate independent retail and gain some new loyal customers. We hope these five tips will help you get inspired and get involved with Small Business Saturday this year. If you have any more ideas please share your ideas and comments below.

 

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About the Author

Danielle Ricketts is the Senior Global Content Manager at Brightpearl where she spends her time following her passions of writing, retail and social media. She can be found writing away about all things retail or engaging with followers online.