Small Business Saturday: Greater consumer awareness to fuel more shopping

Consumers across the country say they’ll rally behind one of the most important shopping days on the calendar for small businesses – Small Business Saturday. A day created to address one of small business owners’ most pressing needs – more customers.

According to the second annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, awareness of Small Business Saturday among U.S. consumers shot up to 44 percent compared to 34 percent during the same period a year ago. In addition, 77 percent of those aware of the day say that they plan to “shop small” this year. This translates to tens of millions of American consumers who say they plan to patronize a small business on Nov. 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The forecasted increase in shopping activity should come as welcome news to retailers facing the shortest holiday shopping since 2002.

“Small Business Saturday has really resonated with consumers who are eager to show support for their neighborhoods,” said Susan Sobbott, president at American Express OPEN. “Shoppers have made their intentions clear and we expect Small Business Saturday to be an incredible boon for independent businesses across the country.”

Additional findings from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights survey include:

-Consumers say they would attend a community event on Small Business Saturday (44 percent);

-Part of the reason consumers are attracted to small businesses is because they are able to find gifts for people who are hard to shop for (70 percent)

-One-fifth (21 percent) of consumers said one of the main reasons they patronize small businesses is because they offer better prices; and

-The top five places that consumers plan to shop on Small Business Saturday are food stores (38 percent), restaurants (37 percent), clothing stores (35 percent), bakeries (34 percent) and gift/novelty stores (31 percent).

”When people shop at small and independent businesses, they are giving back to their communities in a big way,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner.

“It is very encouraging to see that the interest in shopping small grows each year and we expect this year’s Small Business Saturday to be a great success for Main Street.”

With more consumers planning to shop, small business owners appear ready. According to small business owners polled earlier this month for the Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, of those small business owners incorporating Small Business Saturday into their holiday plans, 70 percent say Small Business Saturday will be helpful in attracting new customers and 67 percent will offer discounts to drive consumers to “Shop Small” on Nov. 30.

“We are seeing great support from the community and local businesses,” said Sobbott. “Our research shows that for more than half (52 percent) of consumers say the primary reason they choose to shop at a small business is because they feel it is important to their neighborhood and community.”

Posted on 2013 Nov 26