Monday, October 2, 2017

Sick of competing with the big box retailers and large corporations? For one day a year, you have a prime opportunity to show your customers why they should shop with you instead.

Smack dab in the middle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday represents a day of opportunities for the small businesses that take advantage of it. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day brings awareness to the small businesses that support our local communities. 

Last year, Small Business Saturday spending reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants. Do you want a piece of this success? Here are six helpful tips on how to turn Small Business Saturday into one of your biggest sale days of the year.

1. Offer Bigger Discounts

Discounting your products 5-10 percent may not be enough to get consumers excited enough to walk into your store. For Small Business Saturday, think bigger—and get creative. Here are some ideas:

  • Bundle related items together and offer them for a hefty discount when purchased together. List the full retail price when purchased separately, so shoppers realize the deal they are getting.
  • Offer purchase discounts. If they spend $25 in your store, give them $25 off their next purchase of $75 or more.
  • Have excess inventory? Offer a buy one get one free sale.

2. Create an event

Give consumers a reason to get excited about visiting your store. Hold an event or add a creative display to entice shoppers. Consider running a scavenger hunt where winners get prizes. Or put up a selfie photo backdrop so shoppers can chronicle their holiday shopping experience via fun photos. Tailor the event to your target market’s interests as well to increase participation. 

3. Cross-promote with local businesses

Connect with fellow small businesses, and join forces to devise strategies to help each other. For example, if you run a clothing store, partner with a shoe store in your neighborhood and showcase the store’s shoes on your mannequins’ outfits to generate interest. The shoe store owner can reciprocate and display your clothing in his store. Insert discount fliers from your partner’s store in your customers’ shopping bags after they purchase. Your partner can do the same for their customers and distribute your fliers. Celebrate other small businesses, and build relationships that will endure past the holiday season.

4. Stay open

Holiday shoppers are used to shopping late and getting up early to wait on discount lines. To increase foot traffic and sales, open earlier and close later than your usual schedule. Offer special “earlybird” discounts to early shoppers as well to encourage shopping during less popular hours.

5. Giveaways

Offering giveaways provides incentives to get people in your doors. With your giveaways, also collect personal information so you can contact entrants for upcoming promotions and events. Offer prizes such as free merchandise or items related to your products. For example, if you sell beauty products, give away gift certificates to the neighborhood spa. To enter, visitors can fill out a form in-store and also get extra points if they post it on their social profiles while tagging their location.

6. Text message marketing

You are missing out on capturing sales if you do not implement a text message marketing campaign to prepare your customers for Small Business Saturday. Text message marketing is one of the most powerful strategies for small businesses because 95% of Americans own a cell phone, and they love to text as it is one of the simplest communication methods. That’s also why text messages boast a whopping 98% open rate. Using text message marketing, you can inrease the chances of getting your promotional messages opened and seen by a majority of your customers—just in time for the busy holiday season.

If you want to connect with more of your customers, check out CallFire’s text marketing services. CallFire is an industry veteran that helps small businesses get more customers and exposure for their brands, thereby increasing sales and profits. If you want to learn more about how text message marketing can help you supercharge your Small Business Saturday promotions, get started by signing up for a free account today.