Two women shoppers sample chocolate truffles in a candy shop.
Small Business Saturday takes place on Nov. 25 this year. — Getty Images/Alina555

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and small businesses across the country are seeking to capture a share of consumer spending, whether in store or online. One way these local mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and service providers can maximize the opportunity is by participating in Small Business Saturday, which kicks off on Nov. 25.

Launched by American Express in 2010, the Small Business Saturday campaign, which lasts throughout the holiday shopping season, encourages consumers to support local businesses by “shopping small.” It’s observed in all 50 states, and in 2011, the Senate passed a resolution recognizing Small Business Saturday.

Consumers spend an estimated $184 billion on Small Business Saturday

Consumers have been seeking to support small businesses in their communities more than ever since the pandemic, and Small Business Saturday can help connect these eager shoppers with their local businesses.

Indeed, they’re ready to rally behind their local neighborhood businesses and be a part of the “shop small” movement, according to the 2023 American Express Shop Small Impact Study. More than three-fourths (78%) of those surveyed agree that small businesses are essential to their community.

More than half (55%) of small business owners anticipate that Small Business Saturday will make a significant contribution to their overall holiday sales this year, the survey showed.

Since American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010, consumers have reported spending an estimated $184 billion at small businesses on the day, based on an aggregate of average spending as reported in consumer surveys commissioned by American Express since 2012.

Here are a few ways that small businesses can capitalize on this year’s trends to drive sales this Small Business Saturday and beyond.

Small businesses can enhance their visibility among shoppers by making sure they're listed on the American Express Shop Small Map.

Access resources for SMBs — from CRM tools to exposure on the ‘Shop Small Map’

American Express offers a variety of resources that small businesses can tap into year-round, including several that are tailored for optimizing the sales potential of Small Business Saturday. The company’s Business Savings Suite, for example, this holiday season will feature curated offers for business solutions that are offered by and for small businesses. These include customer relationship management (CRM) solutions from Close, ad-free music subscriptions from Mood Media, and media relations tools from Press Hook. In addition, small businesses can enhance their visibility among shoppers by making sure they are listed on the American Express Shop Small Map.

[Read more: How to Sign Up for the Small Business Saturday 'Shop Small' Map]

Leverage business content flush with expert tips on navigating the holiday season

Business Class, the American Express platform offering free educational resources and content for business owners and small business Card Members, will feature a dedicated Small Business Saturday page on Business Class for Merchants with a collection of social media tips and retail trends and a dedicated Business Class Resources for Retailers page with insights on making the most of the retail rush during the holidays.

Amex’s insights, tips, and best practices for small business success range from managing money and landing customers to plotting strategies and tapping growth opportunities.

[Read more: Expert Advice on Winning Small Business Saturday: Five Tips to Make the Most of the Day]

Dive into (free) marketing and promotion resources

American Express also launched a nationwide advertising campaign to drive consumers to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday. The campaign includes social media content and outdoor digital screen placements in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Small businesses can capitalize on the growing consumer awareness around Small Business Saturday with social media and email marketing campaigns of their own, using hashtags such as #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall, and they can tag American Express’s @shopsmall social media accounts to get noticed online.

This year’s campaign builds on the ongoing support that American Express provides for small businesses, through resources such as the Shop Small Resource Hub, which offers access to free marketing tools for SMBs and tips to help them grow. The company’s goal is to drive $100 billion in reported consumer spending at small businesses from 2021 through 2025, based on consumer surveys commissioned by American Express.

See what technology can do for your business with innovations such as augmented reality

Between artificial intelligence, livestream webcasts, and shoppable social media posts, opportunities abound — and continue to evolve — for digital marketing during the holiday season.

For example, among the new initiatives from American Express this year, consumers will be able to access an augmented reality (AR) experience aimed at driving more sales at small businesses, both in store and online, through the Door to Shop Small website. From November 20 to 25, eligible American Express card members who make a single purchase of $50 or more by using their enrolled eligible card at U.S. retailers in the “shopping” category on the Shop Small Map or online directory can earn a one-time, $5 statement credit.

As part of the Door to Shop Small experience, American Express will unveil physical, pop-up blue door frame installations on Saturday, Nov. 25, in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile (Pioneer Court), Los Angeles’ Westfield Century City (AMC Plaza), and New York City's Gansevoort Plaza in the Meatpacking District. QR codes in the doors will link visitors to the AR experience, where they can browse a curated assortment of products from several small businesses, including Cadence, Courant, Gray Malin, Paper Shoot Camera, Terminal B, Cut + Clarity, Little Words Project, Made In, Silked, and SKNMUSE.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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