Take Small Business Saturday online
Small Business Saturday, the annual event created to draw awareness for and income to brick and mortar stores in local communities, is just around the corner (November 30th).
In past years, the event has emphasized supporting in-person transactions at local stores. But don’t forget that many of your community’s local shops have online stores as well. When doing your shopping, remember to support Small Business Saturday online, too!
A reported 52 percent of small businesses in the U.S. are home-based and 22 million people are self-employed, which means that many of your neighbors likely operate small online businesses. Supporting local ecommerce shop owners is just as valuable as patronizing local stores with storefronts — the bottom line is that the money stays close to home and is invested in neighbors’ businesses, even if transactions happen over the Internet.
As a shopper, you can participate and benefit by planning your holiday shopping list in advance and taking advantage of the Small Business Saturday deals in your community. By timing your purchases strategically, not only will your dollars be kept close to home, but you’ll get some great discounts and can skip holiday lines and the stress of waiting on last minute UPS deliveries.
As a brick and mortar store owner, hopefully you’re just ironing out the details in preparation for the big day. Fliers, coupons, social media (don’t forget Instagram and Pinterest), and customer emails should be circulating so that everyone knows what your store has planned for Saturday. By partnering with another local business, you can also generate some cross marketing.
If you have an online shop to accompany your physical storefront, kick up marketing and promotions there, too. And keep some exclusive to online shoppers — this will entice shoppers to check your site as well as your store!
If you don’t have an online store, consider the benefits of creating one. Briefly, these include: round the clock business, access to a broader audience, a greater physical reach, perceived credibility, and an opportunity to build an online community that will do your marketing for you if you treat them well. Another reason to sell online is to catch the business of showrooming, since a growing number of consumers look to the Internet for better prices after checking out products in stores. All of these factors translate into more business and more money, so make sure to take advantage of them. With so many hosting platforms and DIY templates to choose from, it’s easier than ever to set up online sales channels.
With the option to support Small Business Saturday from the comfort of your home, whether you’re avoiding going out in the winter weather or your schedule is simply too busy, the ability to shop local online leaves you no excuse not to participate. Buy from your neighbor’s Etsy shop or your friend’s Shopify store. Just keep in mind that small businesses come in many different forms these days.
And don’t forget, if your small business is looking for a market beyond its local reach, use Shipwire! We’ll help you send your products around the world, and you can invest the profits as close to home as you want.
If you’re a local business owner and have noticed sales increases after adding an online store, we’d love to hear your story in the comment section!