Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Hot on the Heels of Black Friday was Small Business Saturday.  This "Shop Small" day is supported by American Express.  And, for American Express cardholders who registered their cards, any purchase of $25 or more at a small business on Small Business Saturday would result in a $25 statement credit for that customer.

I thought that American Express did a great job of promoting the day.  Jim told me that he heard radio ads every day on the way to work.  I saw full page ads in the Washington Post.  They sent a kit to the small businesses (like Zoe) to help us know what resources were at our disposal as well as provided us with collateral to use in marketing the day.  As another plus, they also offered businesses $100 worth of Facebook ads targeted to users in the business's general Zip Code area.  They confirmed that my ad was approved and running - I would be curious to know if they could provide information on the amount of clicks the ad received.  (There is that analytics thing again!)

Any time a customer used an American Express card in the store in November, I told them about the promotion.  And I sent out a link to the site to sign up in my Black Friday/Small Business Saturday email. But I didn't see the result from it that I think I was expecting.

I had a good day at the store but only received one American Express card for a purchase.  The man who presented the card was not a previous customer but did know about Small Business Saturday (a plus!)  I think I had expected more people to shop with American Express cards and to Shop Small.

So what would I do differently?  I think I would publicize it more heavily and earlier in the process.  I also think I would come up with some type of unique give away or promotion that would also draw people in so that it would be more than just them desiring to "Shop Small".  The local organizations here in Alexandria do such a good job of promoting "Shop Local" and "Shop Small" that many people probably already feel that they do this and don't need to make a special effort to do so.

Compared to the 12 hour Black Friday, the 8 hour Small Business Saturday seemed like a half day!

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