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Small Business Saturday 2023

Small Business Saturday is almost here! Each year, Small Business Saturday celebrates the local businesses that make up our communities and encourages consumers to do their holiday shopping at small businesses rather than big box stores.

Since the first Small Business Saturday in 2010, consumers in the United States have spent over $120 billion on Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday: How to Prepare

According to the National Retail Federation, 51 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday 2021, and an additional 56.4 million shopped online.

This year, Small Business Saturday falls on Saturday, November 25, 2023. An estimated 50% of American consumers plan to participate by shopping small. Is your business ready?

Consider these tips to prepare.


Update your website and social media.

Is all information on your website correct? Potential consumers may check your website or social media to learn information about your business such as your physical location, phone number, business hours, and any special promotions. Is your website easy to navigate? How does it look on a smartphone?

Social media plays a significant role in consumer decisions. 70% of American adults use social media, and 71% of social media users are more likely to purchase a product or service based on social media referrals!

Dedicating some of your holiday promotion strategy to your social media channels will pay off. Encourage friends, family, and customers to follow your small business on social media!

Use social media to highlight products, services, and promotions. Share important information such as your Small Business Saturday hours. Answer customer questions and engage with feedback.

Offer special discounts and offers. 

Discounts and other special offers are a great way to attract customers and thank them for their business! Have you thought about what promotions you’ll offer? Running a promotion or offering incentives is a great way to entice customers to visit your store.

Consider rewarding customers for shopping small with:

  • A free gift with their purchase(s)!
  • Limited time offers and Small Business Saturday discounts, like BOGO deals!
  • Complimentary gift wrapping!
  • A store gift certificate or coupon with purchase to be used at a later date!

Make sure you share information about your promotions before Small Business Saturday to build anticipation and attract potential customers. Tell customers who visit before Small Business Saturday about the fun promotions you’ll have, and share on your social media pages and website!

couple in christmas holiday attire at small business

Make the day a special occasion.

While Small Business Saturday is a huge shopping day, it’s also a celebration of all the amazing small businesses and local retailers that make up our communities. Celebrate the special role your business plays in your community!

Here are some ideas to make Small Business Saturday a special day:

  • Decorate your business for the holidays or dress up the building with signs and banners.
  • Offer free food such as snacks.
  • Partner with another small business for the day! Brainstorm ways you can promote each other’s businesses together.
  • If your budget allows, have live music.


Extend your hours.

If you have the staff and means to do so, extend your hours on Small Business Saturday — and consider extending your hours throughout the holiday season!

The holidays are a busy time, and extending your hours can allow potential customers more chances to visit your business around their other obligations. If you usually close at 6 p.m. on Saturdays, for example, consider staying open until 8 p.m.

If you do extend your hours, make sure you update the hours on your website and social media!


Don’t worry about competing with the “big box” stores.

Small businesses offer an experience that the big retailers don’t. Focus on the elements of your store that set it apart from a big box store, like the in-store experience and other personal service that larger stores and online competitors can’t match. Your customers are coming to support your local business and get the service only a small business can offer!


Prioritize customer convenience to reduce stress.

Shopping at the holidays can be stressful. What ways can you make holiday shopping easier for your customers? Maybe your small business can offer gift wrapping or free shipping within reason.

Does your business accept mobile payments? Consider the advantages: Accepting Mobile Payments at Your Business: The Advantages.


Prepare your staff.

Is your staff ready for Small Business Saturday? Make sure that you have enough staff to cover Small Business Saturday. Ensure that employees understand any promotions or specials you’re running, and trust them to make decisions regarding customer situations that may arise.

And of course, thank your staff! Incentivize the day for them, especially if you are expanding hours of operation for the holiday. Find a way to reward them, whether through increased commissions, a meal, or another reward for the hard work they’ve put in on a busy day.


box of donations

Give back.

The holidays are the time for giving back! Consumers like to see that their dollars also go to help others or do good in the world. You can do this in many ways, such as donating a percentage of net profits or asking customers to bring in a canned good for a discount in exchange.

laptop with christmas holiday ornaments

Keep the promotions going.

Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest shopping weekend of the year. While Small Business Saturday is just one day, there are opportunities all weekend long that your small business can take advantage of. Have you considered any Cyber Monday deals? Read our recent blog on preparing for Cyber Monday: Tips to Prepare Your Small Business for a Successful Cyber Monday.

Encourage your customers to shop small all season long, not just on Small Business Saturday. American Express found that 67 cents of every dollar spent in a small business stays in the local community. By shopping small, customers have more of an impact on their neighbors and their community than they might realize!


Does your small business have the coverage it needs? Use our Find an Agent tool to locate an independent insurance agent near you.

This blog was adapted from an earlier version, originally published on November 26, 2019. It was last updated on October 24, 2023.

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Merchants Insurance Group

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