Nov 14, 2023

How to sell big online on Small Business Saturday

Sam van Hees

Sam van Hees

How to sell big online on Small Business Saturday

Falling right after Thanksgiving and right in the middle of Black Friday weekend, Small Business Saturday is a busy day for small businesses across the globe. 

This holiday celebrates small businesses and encourages shoppers to check out the offerings of local, community businesses rather than just big-box retailers. 

For small businesses, this is a chance to tell your story and break through the noise created by bigger brands with bigger budgets during the BFCM weekend. 

If you’re a small merchant who wants to take part in this shopping event, this blog will explain the ins and outs of Small Business Saturday. 

Why Small Business Saturday is important?

The impact of Small Business Saturday has been anything but small. 

According to the 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, in 2022, this event drove an estimated $17.9 billion dollars in sales. 

Furthermore, 72% of shoppers who participated in Small Biz Saturday said they would continue to shop at small businesses during the holiday season. 

Their reason for doing so came down to one main reason: the impact it has on their local community. 

After all, that same Small Biz Saturday study found that for every $1 spent at a U.S. small business, $0.68 of that dollar stays within the local community. 

This shows the economic impact that this day has on small businesses across the U.S. By participating in this event, you will be alongside merchants across the globe who are joining in. 

When is Small Business Saturday 2023? 

This year, Small Business Saturday falls on 25 November, 2023. Small Business Saturday always falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving/Black Friday. 

What is Small Business Saturday? 

Small Business Saturday is a holiday dedicated to shopping at small community businesses. By shopping locally, consumers can help stores in their own neighborhoods to thrive.

The first Small Business Saturday was launched in 2010 by American Express to encourage consumers to shop at small businesses as part of their Shop Small movement. Now, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) have also partnered to sponsor this event. 

The financial impact of this event has been huge: Over the last 12 Small Business Saturdays, a combined total of over $163 billion dollars has been spent during this shopping event (Source: Amex).

How to register for Small Business Saturday 2023

If you’re a small business that would like to take part in official Small Business Saturday activities, merchants that accept American Express Cards can register to get added to the Shop Small Map or the Shop Small Online Directory

Here’s a detailed Small Business Saturday FAQ document from American Express that explains how to get added to their map and directory. 

Here are some resources to help you get ready for Small Biz Saturday 2023: 

Be sure to check out American Express’s official free assets and post suggestions for Small Business Saturday on their site! 

Now that you know what Small Business Saturday is, let’s dive into how you can make the most out of this shopping event: 

6 Small Business Saturday ideas for your online business

To take advantage of Small Business Saturday, try the following tactics: 

1. Highlight your brand on your homepage 

On Small Business Saturday, shoppers want to know who they are buying from.

This starts with your homepage; after all, your homepage isn’t just a place to show off your products. It’s a place to introduce your brand to the world. 

And if your brand doesn’t shine on your homepage, visitors will leave. 

UX research of DTC brand homepages by Baymard Institute found that site visitors were more likely to quickly abandon the online stores of brands that failed to show why their brand and products were special or unique. 

Furthermore, shoppers who feel higher brand affinity from your site are more likely to convert and become loyal customers. 

So optimizing your homepage for Small Biz Saturday can help during this holiday and beyond.

Here’s what to add to your homepage to make sure your brand shines: 

  • Showcase your brand values: using About Us content, reviews, links to press, etc.

  • Add policies: like free shipping/returns, sustainability, or subscription services.

  • Clarify unique discounts & offers: is there a trial period, a BOGO discount, etc.

By highlighting your brand on your homepage, you help to show new customers who you are. 

2. Create a strong About Us page 

In addition to showcasing your brand on your homepage, optimize your About Us page, to be sure that your story is clear across your site. 

A big reason why shoppers love Small Business Saturday is because they feel connected to their community and feel like they are giving back by choosing to shop locally. 

Your About Us page is the perfect place to tell your history, your values, your goals, and any aspect of your business that stands out. This will help shoppers to understand who your brand is. 

Best practices for your About Us page content include: 

  • Adding your brand values & mission

  • Describing your brand story

  • Clarify who your products are for

  • Give examples of your customers

  • Photos of your founders

  • Special policies that align with your values

Write this page with your customers in mind. What would they want to know about you in order to feel that connection with your small business rather than ordering something online from Amazon. 

3. Offer special Small Biz Saturday promotions or discounts 

Let Small Biz Saturday stand out from all the Black Friday promotions by creating special promos for this day. 

Ideas for Small Business Saturday promotions include: 

  • Free gifts with purchase (pins, totes, swag, etc) 

  • Special product bundles

  • Small Biz Day Discounts

  • Discounts for returning customers

  • Handwritten thank you notes

  • Referral discounts 

  • Social media contests 

  • Giveaways

Pick and choose the promotion that matches the best with your overall holiday strategy. 

4. Collaborate with other small businesses 

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you have to do this alone! 

For example, The Black Scintilla collaborates with other local businesses for giveaways and raffles.

Double your reach by connecting and co-marketing with other small businesses. By teaming up, you can learn from other small business owners who may be facing similar challenges in terms of visibility. You could even offer product bundles or discounts to help introduce each other’s products to your own audiences. 

5. Give back to your community

With Small Business Saturday falling after Thanksgiving and right in the middle of the holiday season, this is typically a time when people want to give back. 

Partnering with a charity or promising to give back a certain percentage of your sales to the community can help shoppers feel connected to your brand. 

However, for this to work, you should pick a cause that is authentic to your brand. 

6. Lean in on user-generated content

Small Business Saturday is all about getting to know you and your business. Part of this picture also includes your current customers. After all, new visitors will want to know who is currently purchasing your products to see if they can identify with these shoppers. 

For this reason, incorporating user-generated content in your marketing campaigns for Small Biz Saturday is a great way to personalize your campaign, so shoppers feel an affinity with your offerings.

All of these ideas can help you to increase your sales during Small Business Saturday. 

Final thoughts

As Small Business Saturday 2023 approaches, it's time for small merchants to embrace the opportunity to stand out and connect with their communities. This event is not just about driving sales; it's about telling your unique story and building lasting relationships with consumers who value local impact and personal connections.

By highlighting your brand, offering special promotions, collaborating with other small businesses, and engaging in community-oriented activities, you can create an unforgettable shopping experience that resonates beyond just one day. 

Remember, every dollar spent at a small business significantly contributes to the local economy and nurtures the community spirit. So, let's make this Small Business Saturday a testament to the strength and resilience of small businesses everywhere. Embrace these strategies, tell your story, and watch your business thrive not only on this special day but throughout the holiday season and beyond.

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