Small Biz Saturday Participants Expect Boost in Awareness, Will Rely More on Traditional Media Ads

November 22, 2013

ConstantContact-Benefits-Participating-Small-Biz-Saturday-Nov2013More than 3 in 4 small businesses who have participated in Small Business Saturday in the past plan to do so again this year, per results from a Constant Contact survey of 854 B2C small business participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council. Those participating in Small Business Saturday this year are most likely to expect that it will help create awareness for their business (79%), with fewer expecting that it will deliver new customers (45%) or a quick boost in sales (43%).

Among the two-thirds of respondents who have not participated in the past, about half don’t have plans to start. The most commonly identified reason for these small businesses is that they don’t think they’ll get more business from it (36%). Only 4% said they had participated in the past and hadn’t found value in it.

Meanwhile, a separate survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express finds that 70% of participants believe that Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) will be helpful in attracting new customers. Interestingly, while social media and word-of-mouth are still the top ways participants say they’ll reach customers with their Small Business Saturday offerings, presumably due to their low cost, 18% this year said they will rely primarily on paid advertising (TV, radio and newspaper) to promote the day. That’s double the percentage from last year, suggesting that business owners will be spending more this year to promote their participation.

Finally, two-thirds of respondents are planning to offer discounts on specific items or general discounts on Small Business Saturday, and 36% will offer coupons for future offers or discounts.

For their part, about three-quarters of consumers who are aware of Small Business Saturday plan to “shop small,” per results from another NFIB survey with American Express OPEN. This year, 44% of respondents said they are aware of the day, up from 34% last year. Those planning to shop on Small Business Saturday said they’d be most likely to go to food stores (38%), restaurants (37%), clothing stores (35%), bakeries (34%) and gift/novelty stores (31%).

About the Data: The Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in October of 2013.

The Small Business Saturday Insights survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 500 owners/managers of retail establishments with physical storefronts, kiosks, and restaurants/bars/pubs that are not part of a franchise. In order to qualify, all establishments had to have fewer than 100 employees. No quotas were established for this criterion, in order to allow for a natural representation of retailers. The average number of employees of all establishments in the survey was 6 (with the vast majority falling in the 0-5 range). The study was conducted anonymously via telephone by Redshift Research from October 4 to October 16, 2013.

The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 males and females 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study was conducted anonymously by Redshift Research between November 1st and November 5th, 2013. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 %, at the 95% level of confidence.

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