5 Ways to Stay Competitive During Small Business Saturday 2020
Like most things this year, Small Business Saturday 2020 will look different from the past due to COVID-19. The pandemic has led to a rapid shift toward online shopping, with customers embracing digital options as a safer alternative rather than heading into stores. This trend is certain to shape the way consumers spend on Small Business Saturday, one of the biggest days of the year for locally owned businesses.
To stay competitive and take advantage of the spike in sales, businesses must prepare to serve customers online—potentially in higher numbers than ever before. Here are some ideas to help you get ready for the big event.
1 Prepare your website
As more people buy online, make sure your website is prepared to handle a significant increase in traffic. The worst thing that could happen on Small Business Saturday is that your site crashes and consumers get that dreaded 404 error message when they land on your homepage or try to check out.
To avoid this, work with your web hosting company before Small Business Saturday to ensure you have the bandwidth and server capacity to handle more visitors and activity that day. This may mean upgrading and paying a little more for web hosting during this time, but the online sales you could generate may offset most, if not all, of this cost.
2 Take advantage of social media
Social media is an effective tool for connecting with customers and sharing information with them. Use platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to advertise your business and the exclusive sales you'll offer on Small Business Saturday 2020.
Start promoting your business a few weeks beforehand using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall. Post photos of some items you'll offer and share promo codes for special discounts your customers can redeem if they shop early. For example, if you run a local children's clothing boutique, you could offer 20% to customers who shop at your online store between 9 am and 11 am the day of the event.
3 Deliver the best customer experience
As customers interact with your business online, you still need to give them the best service. With online shopping, convenience and speed are necessities. Consider offering a flexible return policy, fast shipping, curbside pickup and contactless delivery to local customers.
Additionally, make sure you have all the inventory you need. Consumers don't want to wait weeks to get their items if you run out of stock or encounter supply chain issues. Make sure you have all the products you need on-site or in your warehouse for quick delivery, shipping or curbside pickup.
4 Partner with other businesses
One of the best ways to expand your online presence is to collaborate with other local businesses. You can partner with another local company to offer discount packages. If you run a yoga studio, for example, you can collaborate with a local fitness apparel company to offer a discount code for 15% off a virtual or in-person class when they purchase at least $75 in merchandise from the company.
Find opportunities to partner with other small businesses where there's a natural connection between your brands. Working together could benefit you both.
5 Extend the event
Who says Small Business Saturday sales only have to last one day? The event is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which means many consumers will be in shopping mode the entire weekend. Consider offering sales on multiple days from Saturday through Monday, but make sure to offer the best deals on Small Business Saturday.
Adapt and succeed
Throughout the pandemic, consumers have shown that they want to support local businesses, many of which have struggled. But because customers are much more likely to stay in and shop online this year, it's crucial to be prepared to serve them digitally. Getting your website ready, offering flexible shipping and returns, providing exclusive deals on social media and partnering with other businesses can help you make the most of Small Business Saturday 2020.
Financial insights for your business
This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal or tax advice. First Citizens Bank (or its affiliates) neither endorses nor guarantees this information, and encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.