Small Business Saturday

American Express created Small Business Saturday to encourage support for small businesses in 2010 (it has been officially cosponsored by the US Small Business Administration since 2011), and it has become an annual tradition that falls the day after Black Friday. Not surprisingly, other big corporations have embraced the idea of supporting small businesses, including major online marketplaces and search engines.

Google added a “small business” attribute in Search – but it also added the attribute to Google Maps so shoppers can select the filter (on Maps on mobile) when looking for local businesses. Google said it would be elevating the small-business filter experience this weekend.

Google’s small-business filter shows results from merchants that identify as small businesses, including ecommerce brands, local businesses, and sellers and includes marketplaces like Etsy and eBay.

eBay sent out an email on Friday that said “Go big (and small).” The “big” part of the email promoted Black Friday deals from select merchants in four popular categories, while the “small” part of the email promoted four shops, linking to their eBay shops along with links to posts where they were featured on eBay’s “Seller Spotlight” series.

Etsy has been running marketing for its Cyber Week sale, including TV commercials. At the top of the Etsy homepage is a banner, “Cyber Week savings from SMALL SHOPS up to 60% off.”

It’s unclear if all the marketing activity promoting small sellers this week leading up to Small Business Saturday actually generates traffic and sales for online sellers, or if brick-and-mortar shops are the biggest beneficiaries of Shop Small initiatives.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She’s a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the…

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