Now that November is upon us, consumers are preparing for the holiday shopping season. Black Friday will have its usual day-after-Thanksgiving sales, but following that will be Small Business Saturday, a promotional opportunity for independent merchants.
Nov. 26 marks the second annual Small Business Saturday, when consumers will be encouraged to buy from small businesses. American Express OPEN, which sponsors the event, has created a Facebook page that provides independent merchants with ideas and tools intended to help drive consumers to their businesses, whether they are local shops or online stores.
To date, the Small Business Saturday Facebook page has almost 2 million "likes" and more than 200 large businesses are supporting the event, including Google, FedEx and Verizon.
In order to participate, merchants must accept the American Express Card as a payment method.
The Small Business Saturday promotion last year "produced strong results and widespread consciousness of the benefits of supporting small business," according to an American Express report.
Participating retailers like Marmalade Clothing International are taking advantage of the marketing opportunity by offering discounts to buyers who shop on Nov. 26.
In an article on American Express OPEN Forum, online retailer Chris Bick, co-founder of Fred Flare, advises other online merchants to capitalize on Small Business Saturday.
"Just get the word out," Bick says. "E-mail your database, use social media and just talk it up to your customers. Get people really excited about it. People will be looking for deals that weekend, so make sure to publicize your promotions."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.