November 9, 2022 | Shop Local Marketing Made Easy: A Resource Roundup for Main Street Leaders & Small Business Owners |
Oceanside, Calif., residents explore local shops while participating in Sip & Shop Downtown Oceanside on Small Business Saturday 2021. Credit: Road West Photography.
The countdown to Small Business Saturday® on November 26 has begun and for some communities the holiday shopping season is already underway. For Main Street leaders to small business owners alike, this time of year is full of possibilities, excitement, and good cheer. Even so, creating opportunities to welcome visitors downtown and into stores—in-person or online—can also be a source of stress and uncertainty. We're here to help!
Whether you are a seasoned American Express Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion or an entrepreneur joining this national movement for the first time, we’ve gathered a roundup of resources to support your “shop local” marketing efforts.
Resources for Main Street Leaders
From organizing Shop Small® activities during the winter holiday season to supporting your downtown merchants all year long, Main Street leaders play an important role in fostering economic vitality in their communities. Developing and implementing a holistic economic vitality plan for your Main Street takes commitment, time, and access to the latest resources, trends, and best practices.
To support Main Street leaders who are coordinating efforts to uplift existing businesses and nurture emerging entrepreneurs, we have gathered a selection of new resources and time-tested tools to provide you with inspiration and handy tips ready to share.Get Ready for Small Business Saturday 2022!
Small Business Saturday is just around the corner... and there’s still time for you to rally your merchants and invite your community to shop downtown on November 26. Check out this blog post
for our top 5 tips to make your Small Business Saturday a success!Quick, Easy and Data-Backed Tips to Share with your Businesses Right Now
In October, we invited you to join the conversation about preparing for Small Business Saturday. We received excellent responses from the network, including insightful tips from Sheila Scarborough, Co-founder of Tourism Currents, that are tailor-made for helping small businesses get their digital houses in order. Consider sharing these quick, easy, and data-backed tips with your businesses right now:
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Guide
- A Claimed & Current Google Business Profile – Make sure your business’ profile on Google is claimed, completed, and up-to-date. Pay particular attention to ensuring that your operating hours, address, and contact information are current. Why is this important? This information directly feeds into Google Search and Google Maps, two tools that shoppers use to find and select places to shop, grab a bite, and enjoy. Need help? Here’s how to verify your business on Google.
- Active & Accurate Social Media Profiles – Make sure your social media profiles include details about your location, hours of operation, what you offer, and the link to your official website. Where space allows, consider identifying your business as independent and locally owned. An active and accurate Facebook page is an invaluable tool, too. Although not all age groups actively use Facebook, many younger folks have accounts and will check a business’ Facebook page to see if it is open and to confirm information provided on other sites.
Successful entrepreneurial ecosystems depend on cross-sector partnerships and collaboration. Main Street programs are in a prime position to convene key partners to assess gaps and opportunities within the local ecosystem. The annual holiday shopping season is a prime opportunity to put many entrepreneurial ecosystem principles to work. From hosting pop-up marketplaces to creating temporary (or permanent) people-centered spaces in your downtown, our entrepreneurial ecosystems resource
s are tailor-made for supporting your shop local initiatives. The Future of Retail: Creative Approaches to Place-Based Entrepreneurship
As trends suggest a long-term shift away from traditional brick-and-mortar retail, Main Streets will need to continue to find new ways to draw people downtown. This guide
provides a roadmap on how to adapt to the evolving retail landscape by capitalizing on what Main Street has always done well: providing experiences, serving as incubators for entrepreneurs, offering socially conscious local products and services, and fostering social engagement through innovative programming and place. It also includes a retail audit tool you can use to ensure your downtown is positioned to thrive well into the future.
Resources for Small Businesses Owners
For many small business owners, Small Business Saturday
is the biggest shopping day of the year. According to the results of the American Express 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, total reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $23.3 billion1
, up 18% from $19.8 billion in 20202
and an increase from pre-pandemic spending in 2019 ($19.6 billion).
This year, even with high inflation rates and a possible recession on the horizon, the shopping season is poised to remain strong. While Small Business Saturday has had a resounding impact on small businesses since its launch in 2010, the challenge remains to keep shoppers shopping small throughout the holiday season and beyond. To support small business owners who are addressing this issue on the ground, we have put together a list of helpful tools, resources, and funding to encourage shopping local all year round.Tools & Resources
- Main Street Online Tool
- It’s always a good time to get online and work on improving your digital presence – this is especially important before and during the holiday season! Our quick and easy Main Street Online Tool, developed in partnership with GoDaddy, guides you through this process by identifying the best solutions for your unique e-commerce needs and providing you with a roadmap to implement an effective online strategy.
- The Shop Small Resource Hub by American Express
- Access free materials, resources and tools from American Express to help your small business grow and thrive--no matter the stage you’re at.
- Business Class
- Business Class by American Express provides tips, insights, and inspiration from business owners like you to help you navigate challenges and uncover new ways to grow, adapt, and thrive.
- Meta Boost
Blogs, Research, Webinars & Guides
Whether you’re a Main Street leader or a small business owner, we hope this list provides a few practical tips and resources that help make your Small Business Saturday and holiday shopping season even more successful. Make sure to stay tuned to our social media channels, Main Street News e-newsletter, and our blog for more shop local content coming soon.
1 The American Express 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted by Teneo on behalf of American Express. The study is a nationally representative sample of 2,426 U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study gathered self-reported data and does not reflect actual receipts or sales. It was conducted anonymously on November 28, 2021. The survey has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.0%, at the 95% level of confidence. Projections are based on the current U.S. Census estimates of the U.S. adult population, age 18 years and over.
2 The American Express 2020 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted by Teneo on behalf of American Express. The study is a nationally representative sample of 2,572 U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study gathered self-reported data and does not reflect actual receipts or sales. It was conducted anonymously on November 29, 2020. The survey has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.0%, at the 95% level of confidence. Projections are based on the current U.S. Census estimates of the U.S. adult population, age 18 years and over.