It’s holiday shopping season! Some stores have even been running ads to get customers excited about this time of year and into their stores on Thanksgiving. However, for those of you who plan to wait and not skip out of the house to go shopping on Thanksgiving or on Black Friday, you’re not alone. Small Business Saturday will be here before you know it! It falls on Saturday, November 29th, the day after Black Friday, and before Cyber Monday. The National Retail Federation, eMarketer, and Deloitte have all released studies and predictions for the 2014 holiday shopping season. In this Daily Brown Bag, you’ll learn about these fascinating studies, how much money the average consumer is predicted to spend this holiday season, and what small businesses and marketers can do to prepare for the holidays and Small Business Saturday.

Also available on YouTube.


Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about Small Business Saturday. I'm Chad Hill and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey, good afternoon Chad. Hard to believe we're actually talking about the holiday shopping season and Small Business Saturday. Chad, it's here already. It is coming fast and furious. I want to cover some data today and talk about how small businesses can benefit from Small Business Saturday and the holiday season. First of all, the National Retail Federation has some numbers out. They're estimating a 4.1% increase in holiday retail sales this year, which is good news. They're calling for a total of $616.9 billion and they say the average consumer will spend about $804. They're estimating that a whopping 44% of the shopping will be done online, which creates a pretty big opportunity for digital marketers that we talk to everyday.

eMarketer, they also have a study out and their predictions are a little different. They're saying a 5% increase in the holiday season for the United States, this year versus the National Retail Federation’s 4.1%, so that's good news. They're calling for a total of $862.5 billion and they see a 16% increase for e-commerce specifically. Also, very good news for our digital marketers. So, I know the big dogs are already gearing up for this stuff and they've got their decorations out. How can the small businesses compete?

Well, I think, the tail winds are a little bit behind small business because in Deloitte’s survey, it talks about consumers still planning to spend over half of their holiday budgets in-store. They do still prefer the in-store experience. And that 68% said that they were planning on actually shopping local this holiday season. So maybe getting away from just 100% big box, but actually going shopping locally and spending 35% of their budgets locally. They gave five reasons for why they wanted to shop locally. One, 62% of people said they wanted to support the local economy. 53% said that there are one of a kind gifts that you can only get locally. 43% said it was more convenient. 38% said you get better customer service. And 30% said that they just wanted to support local businesses and believing that that's critical to supporting the overall economy.

So, I think that, if you want to take advantage of the opportunity there and what people sentiments are, there's a couple things that we want to remind you of. The 29th, November 29th, is Small Business Saturday. You basically got a slot right after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday. This began in 2010 and now it's actually embraced by 50 states, including that the President is actually mentioned and shopped locally, actually right here in the community that I'm in. So, basically, the one thing that we do want to tie this into is marketing, in order to make sure that everyone's ready for Small Business Saturday and just ready for the holiday season in general. Even though, a lot of this commerce will happen locally, we've heard over and over again that there is a tie-in of mobile and then buying in stores.

So you want to make sure that your website is ready. Ideally, that it's been mobile optimized, so that someone out looking for your category of business, looking for something on their mobile phone is able to find you easily, and Google Maps or Apple Maps, or whatever product they’re using. So make sure your website is optimized, you have your local listings claimed, and then of course make sure that your website domains are registered and the website's hosted.

Small Business Saturday will be here before you know it. We're proud to be plugging in. I know we're pushing pretty hard. Last year, Chad. That certainly is our customer base, the small businesses, as well as, the resellers we work with. They are all also small businesses, Main Street businesses. So let's get the word out and make this a very successful holiday shopping season for them. Drop us a line. Let us know how you can contribute and we always ask for your subscription. We'll see you tomorrow.