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Lesson Learn from Small Business Saturday

November 27, 2012

Congratulations small businesses across the nation for a successful Thanksgiving sales season.

American Express first started Small Business Saturday (SBS) in November 2010 to show support of the small and local business sector. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, SBS gives small, local shops an opportunity to compete with major retailers such as Walmart and Target in one of the biggest sales seasons of the year. According to The Washington Post, Small Business Saturday 2012 attracted up to $5.5Billion revenue from supporters – or 10% of total weekend sales. President Obama has been showing support of and shopping at local stores during SBS.  This year, Mr. President reportedly bought Christmast gifts for his daughters at One More Page Books in Virginia.

Now that the hype over an eventful sales season is slowly subsiding, it is time for small business owners to ask a crucial question: What’s next? Unlike large corporations and retailers who have the resources to keep the sales momentum going strong until Christmas and beyond, smal business owners need to look beyond the glory of Small Business Saturday. After the sales are gone, how to keep customers coming back without exhausting the seasonal deals?

Carminie Gallo of Forbes shed some light on how small businesses could use Small Business Saturday as a chance to create a first-impression among customers and leave an unforgettable mark in their memory. In his article, Gallo argued that it was the atmosphere and the whole in-store experience that would distinguish small, local shops from large physical and online retailers. He cited One More Page Books as an example of an in-store experience deliberately conceived so that no online stores could replicate. This is particularly relevant at a time when tablets such as Kindle and Ipad significantly increase the popularity of digital contents and pose a threat to traditional publishing models. Gallo went on to list certain factors that made some local stores his favorite. Be it impressive interior design or unique hospitality, a unique in-store experience will stay in the memory of customers much longer than a generic shopping session at Walmart.

Now that the last orders of Cyber Monday have been made and the industry is gearing up for the next giant shopping season – Christmas, it is the perfect time for small businesses to emerge as an option worth considering among holiday gift-buyers.

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