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By all appearances, the holiday shopping season keeps getting bigger and better; by lunchtime on Cyber Monday, news of this year’s record sales numbers were circulating widely to the tune of “For the Love of Money.” But the Ghost of Christmas Future is singing another carol. It’s message: think small business. While the National Retail Federation was reporting a record $52.4 billion in spending over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend (that’s Thursday through Sunday), and Cyber Monday sales were up 15% over last year, the American Express-sponsored Small Business Saturday was celebrating its own tiny victories. This year’s event, which encourages consumers to shop local, saw the credit giant offering card members a $25 credit for any $25 spent at qualifying small businesses nationwide, and the event’s Facebook page boasted 2.6 million “likes,” more than double last year’s numbers. In the spirit of the season, leading software developer Intuit finally jumped on the e-commerce trend; yesterday, the company announced Intuit SimpleStore for Facebook, which allows small business owners to accept debit and credit payments via the social network, and perhaps more impressively, automatically syncs a merchant’s website with its Facebook page. In August, the company partnered with Verizon Wireless to sell its smartphone credit card reader GoPayment, another nod for small businesses.
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like Small is the new Big. With more ways for small businesses to engage consumers, marketers best take stock and adapt accordingly.
Which prompts the question: What can marketers learn from small businesses? Has a recent campaign or effort inspired your marketing mind?