Navigating the Small Business Saturday 2021 Shopper Experience
2020 was a challenging year on so many levels. Especially for local entrepreneurs and small business owners who faced many obstacles during the height of the pandemic. The good news? Positivity is on the horizon for those ready for Small Business Saturday 2021. Consumers feel more confident about this upcoming holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation forecast that holiday sales during November and December expect to increase between 8.5 to 10.5 percent over 2020.
Those kinds of numbers during the busiest shopping time of the year are a welcoming sign, especially with Small Business Saturday on November 27. Created in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is the anthem for consumers to “Shop Small” between Black Friday and Cyber Monday by patronizing local brick-and-mortar stores. Last year, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported Americans spent nearly $20 billion on Small Business Saturday.
What about the shipping delays or “out of stock” scenarios popping up in the news? Even with the resources provided by AMEX and support from larger corporations, small businesses still have to face the possibility of not having enough inventory or staff to support the needs of their customers. Here are some tips to help prepare:
Tell the Truth
The keyword here is transparency. Holiday shopping is stressful. Hiring more staff to handle questions and utilizing messaging in marketing strategies or creating a loyalty waitlist may not be enough if a popular product is out. Let them know an estimated time it may be back in, or get an email to offer reasonable free shipping or discount when it arrives. That will not only help build your customer base but show the customer that you are willing to go the extra mile for a meaningful exchange.
Studies show that prospective customers visit a website before visiting a store, so prepare your site to offer live inventory updates and handle online customer inquiries. Creating a specialized toll-free phone number to direct specific inventory requests to trained staff members could gain valuable downtime and let customers know that their needs are essential. Here we discuss the benefits of expanding your phone system for the holiday.
Don’t do this alone. Partnering with other small businesses for Small Business Saturday is for the greater good. By tying in another business product with yours, you create an even more memorable experience, as well as help out your community. That’s right, for every dollar spent at a small business, around 67 cents stays in the local community.” That deserves a hashtag. #Awesome
Make it Personal
Find ways to personalize. This is an excellent opportunity to stand out and showcase other products in stock, which leads us to this question. Why did the consumers choose your store over similar businesses? Depending on what you’re selling, use that as an advantage. Maybe it is your reputation for stellar customer service or the personal touch of making your product packaging eco-friendly. From writing a handwritten thank-you note to adding customization to gifts, lean into what makes a visit to your store special.
Small business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the brave, the patient and the persistent. It’s for the overcomer. – Unknown