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Small Business Saturday Drawing More Participants

American Express Releases SBS Merchant Toolkit to Help

WASHINGTON, DC- More small-business owners are making Small Business Saturday (SBS) an integral factor in their holiday sales plans, according to a just-released survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express. The Small Business Saturday Insights Survey reveals that 46 percent of independent merchants surveyed plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday as part of their holiday strategy. However a majority of those surveyed (81 percent) feel that Small Business Saturday would be more effective if their [business] communities came together and hosted events.

As an incentive to encourage patronage, the majority (67 percent) of those businesses planning on incorporating SBS into their holiday business strategy say they will offer discounts of some sort to their customers on November 24, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday the key shopping days that kick off the holiday shopping season. In order to reach out to their customers and promote Small Business Saturday and drive sales, 87 percent will actively use social media channels, and 96 percent of those will be using Facebook to do so. Among the incentives they will offer customers:

  • 46 percent will create coupons for future offers or discounts;
  • 25 percent will offer free gift wrapping;
  • 23 percent will giveaway prizes or hosts contests;
  • 20 percent will give away free items with purchase.

"In just three years, Small Business Saturday went from an idea to help Small Business find more customers, to a permanent fixture on the holiday shopping calendar," said Susan Sobbott, president, American Express OPEN.
"According to the research, we are seeing the small business community take ownership of the day and make it their own."

To help small businesses promote their Small Business Saturday activities, American Express offers a merchant toolkit, available on www.ShopSmall.com. The toolkit includes free downloadable marketing materials such as banners and logos, singage and social media/email templates. Other elements of interest available on ShopSmall.com are: free geo-targeted online advertising (available for a limited time); inspiring success; and "Rally Your Community," a section designed to connect consumers and small businesses as well as inspire local events on Small Business Saturday.

In addition, American Express is providing small businesses access to free tools and offers to attract customers beyond Small Business Saturday; click on the "Free Biz Tools" tab at www.facebook.com/ShopSmall.

 

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