100 million consumers “Shopped Small” and participated in Small Business Saturday in 2011* – will 2012 be just as good?

*According to American Express

Will 2012 Holiday Shopping Season Be a Winner for Small Businesses? For Many That Depends on Small Business Saturday.

According to survey results released by Pitney Bowes, 84% of U.S. consumers say they will spend the same or less this holiday season (52% will spend the same, 32% will spend less) compared to last year. However, though the vast majority of consumers are not planning on increasing their holiday spending this year, another survey shows that 43% of small business owners expect to see higher revenue this holiday season compared to last year.

A survey commissioned by FedEx found that 43% of small business owners expect to see higher revenues this year and 66% are hopeful about this year’s holiday shopping season. And, it seems that, for many small businesses, participating in Small Business Saturday on November 24, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, will play a big role in their 2012 Holiday Shopping Season sales strategies. A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express found that 46% of independent merchants plan to participate in Small Business Saturday. In fact, the survey results show that small business owners view Small Business Saturday as more important (31%) or equally as important (37%) as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. See graphic.

No Surprise Here – Social Media Will Be Used to Promote Small Business Saturday Deals

According to the NFIB/American Express survey, of the businesses that plan to participate in Small Business Saturday, 67% will offer discounts and incentives, such as coupons, free gift wrapping and giveaways, to influence consumers to patronize their establishments on November 24 (Small Business Saturday). Additionally, of those surveyed, 46% will create coupons for future offers or discounts; 25% will offer free gift wrapping; 23% will give away prizes or host contests; and, 20% will give away free items with purchase.

Social media is the marketing tool of choice for Small Business Saturday participants – 87% of these businesses will use social media to promote their Small Business Saturday events. And, as can be expected, 96% of the businesses who plan to use social media will be using Facebook. Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest will also be used, but by a much lower percentage of these businesses (33% will use Twitter, 15% will use Google+ and 15% will use Pinterest).

Source: National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); American Express; Pitney Bowes; FedEx