More shoppers will engage in their communities on Small Business Saturday 2022

With Thanksgiving weekend fast approaching, after turkey and soccer, shopping is a time-honored holiday weekend tradition. Last year, the National Retail Federation reported that nearly 180 Americans shopped over the five-day holiday weekend.

Between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday is Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday introduced by American ExpressAXP
in 2010. It was designed to help small businesses hold their own against big retailers, the big boxes and category killers that have steadily and relentlessly ripped off their customers.

After two years of being restricted by the pandemic, people’s vacation activities are more than ready to meet their neighbors and friends on Main Street. Small Business Saturday is a great excuse to get out and about.

Not surprisingly, people’s interest in attending Small Business Saturday is much stronger this year than last year. More than half of shoppers (53%) said they would shop locally or eat at an independent restaurant during this year’s Small Business Saturday. That’s according to a survey of over 1,000 adults conducted by Teneo on behalf of Kabbage by American Express.

This compares to just 42% of buyers surveyed last year expecting to engage. According to NRF, that was around 51 million Small Business Saturday shoppers in 2021. However, it was a sharp drop from the 60 million shoppers who attended Small Business Saturday in 2019.

Shoppers vote with their wallets and overwhelmingly support small businesses run by their neighbors and friends. About 79% agreed that small businesses are essential to their communities.

And aside from helping small businesses stay afloat, shoppers are drawn to local independent retailers because they can find unique Christmas gifts (73%) that aren’t available at large retailers.

Despite negative economic headwinds, with about 66% of respondents cutting back on their holiday shopping this year and consumers expecting to pay more at independent specialty stores, that’s not stopping them. About 86% of consumers said they are likely to make small purchases this holiday season, compared to just 13% who are unlikely to make it.

People crave the real connection they get from local shopping. About two-thirds of consumers said the stories behind small businesses appeal to them, and more than half prefer to turn to small businesses over large retailers for Christmas shopping.

A counterpoint to Kabbage’s consumer survey was conducted among 550 small business owners (SBO). Overall, they expect a strong holiday season, with 64% believing this year’s holiday sales will be even better than last year.

A strong 2022 holiday will make a real difference for small businesses. The SBOs surveyed indicated that almost a quarter of their annual sales are made between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve.

And while SBOs are positive about the rest of the year, nearly one in four (24%) said their survival is on the line as the results of the upcoming holiday season determine whether their business can survive into next year.

Small Business Saturday, November 26th, officially kicks off the small business year-end race. They have been challenged throughout the year by inflation, the need to raise prices and ongoing supply chain issues.

They also struggle with ongoing difficulties in hiring and maintaining optimal staffing levels, which is critical to delivering the improved customer service that differentiates independent retailers from large retailers.

Still, SBOs have high expectations for Small Business Saturday. Over 52% of respondents expect it to be a significant contributor to overall holiday sales, and half believe Small Business Saturday is more important than ever to their business.

“Small businesses understand the importance of thriving this time of year,” said Brett Sussman, vice president and head of sales & marketing, Kabbage, American Express. “As we approach this holiday season, they are making the necessary preparations and adjustments to win the holidays.”


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