Third Annual Small Business Saturday Provides Marketing Boost to Small Retailers

Washington—While major retailers are touting their doorbuster Black Friday deals—and attempting more than ever to lure shoppers in even on Thanksgiving Day—smaller and independent retailers are gearing up for what could be their biggest holiday kick off ever: Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24.

The third annual Small Business Saturday (SBS) falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Nov. 26, and puts the spotlight on small-businesses including retailers and restaurateurs.

According to the inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, recently released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, 46% of independent merchants plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday as part of their holiday strategy, and the majority (67%) of them say they will offer discounts on Nov. 24.

Of those small business owners planning to promote Small Business Saturday, 80% expect a year-over-year boost in sales on that day, and discounts and special offers for consumers are one of the key incentives to drive consumers to shop small.

“Research has shown that American consumers have a deep trust in, and admiration for, the small business community. Small Business Saturday gives them a chance to show their appreciation–and help America’s essential job creators in a very real way–by patronizing small shops, restaurants and service providers,” said Dan Danner, ceo at NFIB. “And anything that helps with sales is certainly appreciated by small business owners, many of whom have struggled to stay afloat in a rough and uncertain economy.”

More Important than Black Friday to Small Retailers

While many small business owners will be focusing on driving value to customers through discounts, there are a number of ways that they are planning to take advantage of the opportunity to drive consumers to “shop small.” According to the Small Business Saturday Insights Survey:

  • 46% will create coupons for future offers or discounts;
  • 25% will offer free gift wrapping;
  • 23% will giveaway prizes or hosts contests; and,
  • 20% will give away free items with purchase.

The Small Business Saturday Insights Survey was created to provide a glimpse in what small business owners have planned for holiday 2012. Other survey findings include:

  • 81% say Small Business Saturday would be more effective if their communities came together and hosted events;
  • 34% say Small Business Saturday is the most important shopping day during holiday season, compared to 24% who cited Black Friday and 14% who cited Cyber Monday (37% said they were all equally important);
  • 28% intend to increase the number of employees who will work on Small Business Saturday;
  • 87% will be active in social media channels to promote Small Business Saturday, with 96% using Facebook, 33% on Twitter, 15% on Google+ and 15% on Pinterest.

To assist retailers in marketing Small Business Saturday in their communities, American Express, one of the founders of SBS,  is offering a merchant toolkit on www.ShopSmall.com that includes free downloadable marketing materials, social media templates, and new this year, free geo-targeted online advertising.

More information can be found at the “Free Biz Tools” tab on www.facebook.com/ShopSmall.

About the Survey

The Small Business Saturday Insights survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 500 owners/managers of retail establishments with physical storefronts, kiosks, and restaurants/bars/pubs that are not part of a franchise. The sample was collected using lists of retail establishments. In order to qualify, all establishments had to have fewer than 100 employees. No quotas were established for this criterion, in order to allow for a natural representation of retailers. The average number of employees of all establishments in the survey was 5.7 (with the vast majority falling in the 0-5 range). The study was conducted anonymously via telephone by Redshift Research between Sept. 25 and Oct. 12, 2012. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.38%, at the 95% level of confidence.

 

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