9 tips to boost sales and grow customer loyalty on Small Business Saturday
#SmallBizSatUK trended at number 1 all day on Small Business Saturday last year with over 100,000 tweets, reaching more than 25 million people. Sell more, grow your brand and be seen as the friendly supporter of your community on Small Business Saturday 2016 – we'll serve you 8 actionable tips!
In case you're still doubtful – £623m were spent with small businesses on Small business Saturday 2015, an increase of £119m or 24% for 2014. You simply can't miss the most important business event of the year.
Wait, tell me more!
This grassroots, non-commercial campaign puts focus on small business success in the UK. It exists as a promotional and marketing tool for small business owners – to join and use for their own benefit. Make new connections, follow the campaign and learn new skills and give back at the same time. Small Business Saturday takes place on December 3rd.
A wonderful opportunity to support the community, inspire others – and promote your own business.
1. Create awesome offers
Craft some time-limited offers for SBS only. With Christmas just around the corner, there are endless opportunities to leverage consumers’ impulse behavior – or let’s rephrase it, solve their gift problems.
Make sure to look into your sales data to keep your profit margins positive – so your bargains rather build customer loyalty than damage your brand. Always discount carefully.
SBS is all about the local community – why don’t you partner up with a non-competitor store that shares your philosophy? Are you a small retailer – how about contacting your favorite pub or restaurant? Effective cross-promotion will help you both as well as giving a better experience to the local customers. Cross-publish in each other’s online channels, promote each other at your venues – and praise each other throughout the day.
Share the positive spirit and passion for your products and the life as a business owner.
3. Be personal and engage locals
At this specific day of the year, you can – and should – speak about yourself and your own shop. Put up notes on message boards, talk to your neighbors and friends. Let them know that you will be offering free samples or why not offering free repairs for the 10 first arriving customers – if you’re running clothing shop. Are you a book shop owner, like iZettler Vari McGeachy behind Books Iconica, host a reading! Share the positive spirit and passion for your products and the life as a business owners.
5. Give back – generosity as marketing
Since Small Business Saturday is about the community, it’s a great way to show your values and find customers through a non-profit organization or a sports club. See this type of generosity as a form of marketing that’s really great for everyone. You’ll have the chance to get publicity, gain customer support – and simply doing something good. Also remember that donations to charity are tax deductible expenses, find out more here.
Show your values and find customers through a non-profit organization or a sports club.
6. Go 100% social
Update your Facebook page continuously about your unique offers and use the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK and tag @smallbizsatuk to let SBS promote you in their channels. Take a look at how other businesses are using the event to market themselves – and come up with a different approach or idea to differentiate yourself. Boost your posts carefully through well-targeted Facebook campaigns.
Did you know?
Small Business Saturday was initially conceived by American Express in the US in 2009. Why? To drive traffic to small businesses in the aftermaths of the financial crises – through a $25 statement credit to AMEX cardholders for shopping in local shops. This turned out to be such an effective move to increase sales for small retailers that the US Congress picked up the idea and turned it into a Small Business Saturday in 2011.
7. Make it into the papers
Check out our PR guide to ensure that you approach the local newspapers in an effective way. A different approach can be to send them a drafted article consisting 70% a guide sharing valuable expertise (referring to your business) and 30% the story of you as a local entrepreneur. Are you selling shoes? Why don’t you share some hands-on tips of how to take care of shoes during this wet and damp part of the season?
8. Charm the bloggers
If you invest time in creating a PR-friendly story for the local newspapers – rewrite it slightly and send to credible bloggers (or anyone else with a high number of relevant followers). Try to keep it more personal and friendly than the message to the media. Remember that magazines and bloggers are always looking for great and valuable information – or a capturing story.
9. Use all free stuff from the SBS organization
This one’s given. So make sure you’re fully using it! Register your business at their website, download their logos and check out their marketing package. Follow and participate in the discussions on Twitter!
For more tips on how to make the most out of Small Business Saturday, check out our guide from last year, you’ll find it here.