Small Business Saturday

If you are like me, you probably agree that 2017 is flying right by.  It’s hard to imagine that Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday.  To that end, we know that Thursday also represents the start of the Christmas shopping season.  Since the 1950’s, the Friday after Thanksgiving, also known as “Black Friday,” has been the busiest shopping day of the year.  However, in recent years, other shopping movements and trends have taken a bite out of the fruitful retail ‘pumpkin’ pie.

We commonly think of “Black Friday” as a shopping holiday in which brick-and-mortar retailers attempt to undercut competitors with a full complement of doorbuster items.  We envision long lines of people, sometimes even camped out hours or days before the doors open.  As online holiday shopping continues to increase in popularity, so have the sales and discounts offered by online retailers. Online retailers tend to attract customers that either do not wish to fight the crowds, or have in fact braved the crowds on Black Friday but have more shopping to do.  As a result, Cyber Monday was created a handful of years ago to provide additional options for holiday shoppers, commonly, the most price-sensitive of customers.

The latest holiday shopping trend is unlike the prior two in that it is designed to personalize the holiday shopping experience.  Small Business Saturday is a day in which consumers are encouraged to shop small, within their communities.  This shopping holiday began in 2010 and has now grown into a hugely popular shopping day.  It is estimated that 112 million Americans shopped at small businesses during last year’s Small Business Saturday.  All of that shopping resulted in $15.4 billion of spending.

Here is a schedule of the post-Thanksgiving shopping holidays:

Friday, November 24, 2017 – Black Friday

Saturday, November 25, 2017 – Small Business Saturday

Monday, November 27, 2017 – Cyber Monday

With thousands of members, one thing is for sure, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce will have several member businesses participating in one or more of the above shopping days.  With a special affinity for small businesses that plan to open their doors on Small Business Saturday, I would like to direct you to some last minute resources and ideas that may help lead to a successful day.  A few ideas may include holding a special event, sidewalk sale or even cross-promoting or partnering with other nearby businesses.  You may also want to check with your local chambers of commerce to see whether they are offering any community-wide special events or assistance on Saturday, November 25. Finally as a business owner, the most important thing to remember about Small Business Saturday is that you should strive to create customers for life, not just one day a year.

As always, if you are a business or customer, be sure to use the hashtags #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall when posting on social media.