Small Business Saturday 2020 is coming up on November 28, and this year’s event could look different than it has in the past. With the recent rise in online shopping — along with the challenges of in-person shopping — participating small-business owners may need to adapt their strategies for the day. This year has presented a series of obstacles for small businesses across the country, but if you prepare for Small Business Saturday in advance, you can help set your business up for a successful day. And that can help position your company for a profitable winter holiday season and a strong finish to 2020.
As online shopping rates continue to increase, many small-business owners are moving their businesses online in order to better meet their customers’ needs. Here are some online shopping statistics that illustrate just how much consumer trends are shifting:
Moving your business online is a great way to make the most of your virtual Small Business Saturday. To begin your digital transformation, you may want to set up an e-commerce site that features an inventory of your products or services. An online inventory provides the benefit of allowing customers to make purchases from anywhere at any time.
Setting up an e-commerce website for your business doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process. And once it’s done, you’ll not only be able to move your Small Business Saturday online but also have a whole new way of engaging your customers and generating sales. Here’s how to create an e-commerce website:
Creating a limited-time offer can be a useful Small Business Saturday promotion idea. They can not only bring attention to your e-commerce website but also create a sense of urgency that helps drive purchases on the spot. To create limited-time offers for your small business, consider taking the following steps:
Not every small business is in the position to develop an e-commerce website yet and take their Small Business Saturday online. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make attractive offers to your customers and enjoy the benefits of the retail holiday. With a little ingenuity, brick-and-mortar businesses can thrive over the biggest shopping weekend of the year. You can try any number of marketing strategies:
It’s important to know how to reach your customers online. By improving your small business’s online presence and establishing a virtual connection with your customers, you’ll gain a better understanding of who they are and be able to meet their needs more effectively.
Some common strategies for how to reach customers digitally include email lists, blogs, surveys, reviews and social media platforms. For example, you could have your routine customers take a survey about what they like most about your business. Or you could ask them to leave an honest review of your product or services.
Today, approximately 7 in 10 Americans use some form of social media. For businesses, this creates a great opportunity to interact with customers and offer more purchasing opportunities. To better engage your customers on social media, consider the following strategies:
You can leverage the traffic your e-commerce site receives on virtual Small Business Saturday to help get repeat customers online. There are many reasons shoppers become repeat customers, such as ease of purchase, loyalty programs and product or service satisfaction. In short, the better the user experience, the more likely you are to hold on to your customers.
Another strategy for getting repeat customers online is to collect customer data throughout the purchasing process. With this data, you can better understand who your customers are and begin crafting offers that are specifically tailored to your audience.
There are several ways for small businesses to collect customer data. For example, you could offer an incentive to customers for providing data when subscribing to your email list or rewards program.
Customer data is sensitive information and should always be handled with care. It’s important that you let your customers know how you plan to keep it safe and use it responsibly.
When collecting customer data, it’s best to start with basic information:
Once you know what customer information to collect and have some to work with, you can begin organizing and identifying trends in the data. This will give you a more detailed understanding of your customer base and help guide your future marketing and promotional efforts.
Now more than ever, it’s important to support other small businesses and keep money in the local economy when possible. To that end, Small Business Saturday provides an excellent opportunity to build relationships with other local businesses in the community.
You can prepare for Small Business Saturday by developing mutually beneficial partnerships with other community-based businesses. As an example, restaurants could do cross-promotional advertising with a nearby bakery to drive traffic to both locations. Or a photography studio could help local businesses create images for their websites in exchange for a shoutout at their physical location and on social media. There are many ways you could work together with other local small businesses to offer unique opportunities and events that bring the community together — even virtually.
With so many obstacles for small businesses to overcome in 2020, preparing for Small Business Saturday has likely never been as vital. Improving your small business’s online presence and taking a community-based approach can help you make the most of this year’s event.
There are many benefits of Small Business Saturday. It’s an opportunity to promote your brand, develop new business partnerships, prepare for the holidays, get to know new customers and — perhaps most importantly — help keep your local community thriving. And as shopping continues to move online, the changes you adopt now can serve you well into the future.
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The trend of consumers moving away from traditional brick-and-mortar business toward online commerce has been going on for years. But things have sped up in 2020: Consumer habits and expectations are rapidly changing, and business owners face new regulations and health concerns.
You may not be able to run your business exactly according to plan next year. If it’s anything like 2020, 2021 could be a challenging time for many small businesses around the country.