Here at Comfort Colors, we are all about the weekend. The clothing we sell is primarily the comfy casual garb of laid-back weekend afternoons. Saturday is one of our top two favorite days of the week. And Small Business Saturday is fast on its way to becoming our favorite out of a month of Saturdays.
Only in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday, even wedged as it is between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is starting to hold its own. As a small business, we are pretty pleased with the way this wonderful weekend day is shaping up.
Let’s take a look at the super holiday shopping sandwich: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Friday shopping was plagued by tech problems and massive outages. According to Venturebeat.com, “The top 50 ecommerce websites were slower overall this year compared to last, suggesting customers were frustrated even if they could get to their favorite shopping site.” (http://venturebeat.com/2014/11/30/black-friday-2014-e-commerce-desktop-pages-were-20-slower-than-in-2013-mobile-pages-were-57-slower/)
Cyber Monday, the other slice of bread in the sandwich, broke all previous single-day spending records. CBS News reports: “E-commerce sales hit a record $2.68 billion on the first business day following the Thanksgiving Day weekend, up 17 percent from the previous year, according to data from Adobe Systems and confirmed by Forrester Research.” (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cyber-monday-sets-a-record-for-online-sales/) Marketland.com reports online spending was up by as much as 15.7% over last year. (http://marketingland.com/2014-cyber-monday-e-commerce-results-15-9-last-year-email-driving-majority-online-orders-109656)
Now let’s get to the meat in this sandwich. Regarding Small Business Saturday, Forbes writes: “A report from the the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express – the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey – revealed that 88 million consumers “shopped small” on the day, up 14.9 percent from just a year ago. According to the survey, more than two-thirds of the U.S. population were aware of Small Business Saturday (67%). Additionally, of the U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday, a reported $14.3 billion was spent with independent retailers and restaurants on the day – an increase of 2.1 percent from $14 billion in 2013″(http://www.forbes.com/sites/nicoleleinbachreyhle/2014/12/02/small-business-saturday-2014-stood-strong-among-communities-and-small-businesses/)
This is what we like to see. Small Business Saturday stimulates locally-owned shops that create jobs and nurture growth in our communities. For every $100 spent at a national chain store, more than half of that money leaves the community. But for every $100 spent at an independent locally-owned shop, almost three quarters of that money gets reinvested into the community. (source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2014/11/28/small-business-saturday-arizona/70096704/)
“Small businesses are critical to the stability of our local communities and growth of our national economy. We are confident that the broad national support for these businesses will continue well beyond November 29th.” (http://www.forbes.com)
And national awareness is growing! American Express, the originator of Small Business Saturday and leader in the Shop Small movement, offers some pretty great tips for helping your small business jump on this small-is-beautiful band wagon. You can read them here and start to make plans for your own local impact in the future.