That time of year is coming up again! Preparing for the holidays is tough for small business owners, and in the rush of getting everything together for Christmas and the end of the year, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday tend to get pushed aside.
Black Friday shoppers are just increasing over time, with last year garnering 101.7 million shoppers, much more than 2015’s 74 million. Small Business Saturday, which is the Saturday after Black Friday, is a relatively new movement that started in 2010. It’s dedicated to celebrate mom and pops all over the U.S. and encourage consumers to skip the chains and #ShopSmall. Despite only being around for seven years, it saw about 112 million shoppers in 2016, a 13% increase from 2015.
If these statistics tell us anything, it’s that these two days are crucial to small business owners’ holiday sales and shouldn’t be neglected. With that said, with almost the whole country participating, how can your small business stand out? Marketing is a big part of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, but standing out doesn’t always mean placing a giant inflatable donkey on your storefront (or, you know, something equally outrageous). Here are simple yet effective ways to stand out this season and get your business noticed:
- Utilize your e-mail list
The best way to get to shoppers is early. By sending deal notifications and Black Friday/SBS coupons/gift cards to your e-mail list before the big event, you allow consumers to make a plan to visit your store. With the amount of people shopping during these days, most shoppers plan out their trip and decide what stores to hit early on in the week or even month. Don’t get lost in the chaos that is your customer’s inbox and create e-mails that will convert into sales.
- Ditch the early morning sales
Everyone is going to be doing crack of dawn sales, especially the big chain stores. Black Friday is not the day to try to compete with them. Opt out of this one and open your business at normal hours, forego the “early birds get best deals” idea, and, instead, expand your day by closing business later than usual. Strategically plan out deals and sales that are only available at certain parts of the day, going on until the later part to keep them coming.
- Own the social media game
If there’s a time to get active on your business social media page, it’s this season! Level of digital engagement during the weeks leading up to Black Friday and SBS are at an all-time high. Reports show that there were 135 million social media engagements in support of SBS in 2016. Consumers are evolving and gone are the days when simple word of mouth can get the job done. Use your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram page to update your customers on your deals, promotions, and hours. Much like the idea for number two, you want to make sure they have you in mind when planning their Black Friday/SBS shopping.
- For Small Business Saturday, collaborate with other small businesses
SBS is all about supporting the community. What better to do this by supporting fellow businesses? Get together with other small business owners in your area and plan a collaboration of sorts, it could be anything from cross-promotion strategy or sharing costs for marketing. Small businesses in the same area can even make a whole event out of it! Among the 112 million SBS shoppers in 2016, 32% attended a small business community event – so get planning!