Marketing with Small Business Saturday and the "Shop Small" Movement

Lake Effects Blog

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Small Business Word CloudThanks to the 2014 Academy Awards Ceremony where host Ellen DeGeneres had pizza delivered from a local pizza delivery chain, shopping small took center stage at the national and international level.

The movement was started by American Express in 2010 as a response to the huge ‘big box’ chain sales that occur on what is commonly referred to as “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”.  Small Business Saturday encourages small business retailers and consumers to shop at local businesses.  This marketing concept has swept the globe as both business to business customers and consumers alike enjoy the benefit of supporting small enterprise businesses in their own neighborhood.

It feels good to support local business not just around a holiday but throughout the year, and the active Facebook page for Small Business Saturday features more than 3.3 million subscribers.

The Impact and Facts About Small Business Saturday

  • Started in the United States in 2010, this campaign has spread to other parts of the world, reaching as far as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • In the US alone, consumers who shopped on Small Business Saturday has increased from 44% in 2011 to 77% in 2013
  • 73% of Americans have not only shopped at a local business on Small Business Saturday events, but spent over $5.5 billion since campaign inception.

Strategic Benefits and Application for Small Business Owners 

  • Harness your Facebook page to promote your business.  Many sponsors offer free online tools to help.  Make sure you register early as there are deadlines if you want to take advantage of the free advertising or promotional materials provided.
  • Many consumers use their phones as a personal GPS.  Make sure to register with local apps that take advantage of geo-tracking to help consumers find your store.
  • Upload a YouTube video and use Twitter and other social media channels to your promote your brand.  #SmallBusinessSaturday  #ShopSmall


Shop Small Logo

How effective do you think the “Shop Small” strategy is for stimulating the economy in your area?  Do you prefer small businesses or the ‘big box’ shopping experience?  Leave a comment below and share your insights.


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