Small Business Saturday was a success: Now what?
December 03, 2013

Electronic payment systems can come in handy for small and medium-sized enterprises that expect an increase in traffic toward the end of the year. These tools can also ensure long-term growth well in the future.

On the heels of Small Business Saturday, many independent stores are reeling from a successful day that resulted in some of the strongest sales numbers of the entire year. In fact, the National Federation of Independent Business released its "Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey" earlier this week and found the national celebration of local enterprises was an overwhelming success. Not only did consumer awareness of the event jump to its highest level yet at 71 percent of 1,000 adult consumers, but 46 percent of those who were said they actively participated by making purchases from local retailers. Shoppers spent a total of $5.7 billion at independent stores, which is 3.6 percent higher than the amount spent during the same day in 2012.

"In just four years, the nation has adopted Small Business Saturday and made it part of the holiday shopping tradition," Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN, stated in a press release. "On November 30, we saw a continuation of this growing trend as communities around the country came together to celebrate local businesses and helped drive consumers to Shop Small on the day."

While Small Business Saturday was a good day for many retailers, store owners don't have to wait until next year to experience a substantial boost in sales revenue. Companies can follow these steps to continue operating at full capacity year-round:

Increase payment flexibility
One of the central elements of retail success is making it easier to adapt to changing consumer behaviors and trends. For example, many shoppers are interested in interacting with their favorite brands both online and offline. The ability to accept credit card payments from multiple channels can create valuable opportunities for businesses to maximize revenue throughout the entire year. Investing in tools that also make it easier to process prepaid cards in the wake of the holiday gifting season can expand transaction options and ultimately prolong the possible period for taking full advantage of year-end shopping.

Houston Chronicle said one of the biggest challenges for small business is finding a way to retain new customers for longer periods of time. Stores that invest in gift card programs and loyalty programs can have a much easier time encouraging shoppers to continue visiting and making purchases long after the holiday season is over.

Nexus: G-WEBCD3