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Celebrating Small Business

3 Mins read

This Saturday, November 25, is Small Business Saturday. To salute the nation’s small businesses, American consumers are encouraged to “Shop Small” and go to stores and restaurants owned by small business owners. Since its inception in 2010, American consumers have spent $184 billion on Small Business Saturday.

Here are some tips and insights as you prepare for Small Business Saturday.

According to Bankrate, 61% of holiday shoppers are likely to shop on Small Business Saturday for holiday shopping, a little more than the 56% who plan to shop on Black Friday. To bring in more customers, Tristen Norman, head of Creative Insights for the Americas at Getty Images and iStock, recommends business owners focus on Generation Z shoppers.

Norman says to attract more Gen Z shoppers, business owners should:

  • Focus on creating engaging and informational content since most of Gen Z relies on social networks to stay updated on their favorite brands and retailers.
  • Focus content on how their products and services can help Gen Z stay committed to developing daily wellness practices.
  • Communicate their alignment with social values since Gen Z still prioritizes their values over saving when shopping.

Shopping Small

American Express, which created the Small Business Saturday concept, just released its 2023 Shop Small Impact Study, highlighting the state of small businesses and consumer holiday shopping trends.

From the consumer POV:

  • 85% of consumers say they will likely Shop Small this holiday season.
  • 50% say they plan to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday.
  • 51% of consumers say they prefer to shop at small businesses rather than big retailers for holiday purchases.
  • 71% say they shop at small businesses for unique gifts they can’t find in large retail stores/websites.
  • 45% of millennial and Gen Z shoppers say they’d shop more at small businesses if they had technology like Augmented Reality.
  • 53% of consumers say if small businesses used technology and digital tools to make shopping easier and more convenient, they would be more likely to Shop Small.

From the small business owner’s POV:

  • 83% of small business owners have a positive outlook for their company’s holiday sales this season, with 65% saying 2023 will be a stronger holiday season than 2022.
  • 55% think Small Business Saturday will significantly contribute to their overall holiday sales this year.
  • 88% say that now, more than ever, they need the support of customers in their communities.

Put Your Small Business on the Map

To help shoppers find small businesses, Google added a business filter to Search and Maps. Google explains how it works:

  • On Search, look for the “Small business” filter when shopping on desktop or mobile, or select the filter on Maps on mobile when looking for local businesses.
  • The experience will be elevated on the Saturday and Sunday after Black Friday when consumers are often looking to shop with small businesses, but shoppers can find the filter year-round on Search through the filter panel.
  • Tap the filter to see products from merchants across the web that identify as small businesses, including e-commerce brands, local businesses, and sellers from marketplaces like Etsy and eBay.

State of Small Business

Aparna Khurjekar, the head of small business for Verizon Business, shares some insights from Verizon’s 2023 State of Small Business Survey.

  • Staffing will be tight: 36% of small business owners are concerned about staying adequately staffed.
  • Competing with big-box retailers:16% fear competing with big-box retailers that can deploy deeper discounting strategies.
  • Inventory planning is a challenge: 40% of retailers say they’re worried they won’t have enough inventory to meet demand; 36% are afraid they have too much.
  • Giving bonuses: Only 7% of SMBs plan to reduce or cancel employee holiday bonuses.
  • Traffic in-store vs. online:35% expect they’ll get more online traffic than in-store, the same as last year.
  • Ad spend is up: 52% report that their business will invest in more advertising before the holidays.

If you’re still not confident about your marketing plans, SCORE will host a free webinar on How To Create A Marketing Plan For Your Small Business on Thursday, November 30, at 3 p.m. EST. Register here to attend.

Small Business Gift Guides

If you are looking for unique gifts from small businesses, here are two small business gift guides:

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