Jump-​Start Small Business Saturday with These Ideas!

BY Courtney Huckabay
Featured image for “Jump-​Start Small Business Saturday with These Ideas!”

Since Small Business Saturday's founding, it’s been a powerful opportunity to reconnect with customers — and boost sales. A whopping $16.2 billion was spent on Small Business Saturday in 2015 — a 14 percent increase from the year prior. It’s likely that this number will only grow, too. Think strategically and find approaches that hopefully can help strengthen relationships and business all year long. Entrepreneur​.com offers some Small Business Saturday ideas to get started.

Extend business hours
If you usually close at 5 p.m. on Saturdays consider staying open til 8 or 9 p.m. Check out the events going on in your town that night and plan accordingly, so you can make the most of the foot traffic, suggests marketing software company Vertical Response. And if you change your hours for the shopping event make sure to tell shoppers on social media and on your website.

Let Small Business Saturday Shoppers know about extended hours through radio (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) ads! The new AudienceSCAN survey found 32.5% of Small Biz Saturday Shoppers took action after hearing commercials in the past month.

Update advertising
Go Digital Marketing recommends small businesses update their PPC (pay per click) keywords to make sure their company name hits the top of customers’ searches. Change the keywords to reflect your most up-​to-​date offers and promotions, as well as your location.

Fresh campaigns can go a long way in reaching customers, old and new. The AudienceSCAN research revealed 24% of Americans shopped on Small Business Saturday in 2016.

Make the website mobile-friendly
According to a Kissmetrics study, 78 percent of mobile searches seeking information on local businesses result in a purchase. With that said, make sure your website is mobile-​friendly so Saturday’s shoppers who can’t make it to the actual store are able to buy your products on their smartphone.

Let shoppers know about newly optimized websites and apps through mobile smartphone app ad or text message ad campaigns. The new AudienceSCAN data reported 39% of Small Business Saturday Shoppers took action after receiving them.

Join forces
Work together with neighboring shops to give shoppers more reasons to visit. In South Dakota, Downtown Sioux Falls offers a number of deals, freebies and experiences throughout the town — such as free cups of espresso and a special art market — encouraging shoppers to make a day of the sales event and explore the downtown.

Get web ready
Make sure the address and contact info is correct on the website and all social media profiles. You’d be surprised how many small businesses forget to update all their accounts as their business evolves — and busy shoppers might not know you’ve opened a new location or have new hours. And while you’re at it, review the site as if you were a customer, ensuring that all promotions are prominently displayed and that the payment process is working properly.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.