Spa Facial

The Beauty Industry is Prepping for Small Business Saturday – Here’s How

This post is the latest in our “Holiday Blitz” series. It’s our editorial focus for the month of November, including topics such as holiday shopping behavior, year-over-year trend analysis, and retail strategies. See the rest of the series here


Small Business Saturday is one of the most important events of the year for local beauty and wellness providers. Spas and salons rely on sales of gift cards and beauty products to sustain their businesses during leaner times.

Developed by American Express in the depths of the recession in 2010, Small Business Saturday is placed in the middle of two of the biggest shopping events of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While proportionally fewer sales happen on Small Business Saturday than Black Friday or Cyber Monday, consumer awareness around the annual event is growing. In 2018, $17.8 billion were spent nationwide on Small Business Saturday. According to American Express, consumers have spent more than $103 billion total on Small Business Saturday since the annual event began in 2010.

Although some Small Business Saturday shopping happens online, the vast majority happens in downtowns across the country. In an ideal world, shoppers who head to Main Street to make their holiday purchases would stick around to grab lunch at local eateries or pamper themselves with beauty treatments at local spas afterward. In order for that to happen, though, salons and spas need effective promotions that target the right groups of customers on one specific day, Small Business Saturday.

“Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to capture extra traffic, interest, and business that is heading to stores or walking past them—customers have become conditioned to actively shop on this day with local businesses, and this is a great opportunity for them to stand-out from the large chains and franchises,” says Guy Weismantel, senior vice president at Zenoti, which develops business software for spas, salons, and medi-spas.

To find out more about what local spas and salons should be doing to boost sales on Small Business Saturday, we asked Weismantel for his best last-minute strategies. Here’s what he had to say.

Run a last-minute campaign on social media. “You can target customers and future customers with just a few dollars in advertising money. Campaigns can be set-up in less than an hour and you can target the exact audience you’re trying to reach, down to the neighborhood and zip code of your business.”

Find out what other local businesses are doing. “Talk to your neighbors. If you’re set-up in a commercial building, walk the halls and find out what other businesses are doing. Offer to refer clients to them if they do the same. These types of small coalitions and informal associations are quick and easy.”

Let existing customers know about the deals you’re offering. “Holiday-ready email templates can help you easily and quickly market your business and update customers on Small Business Saturday. When done right, email campaigns are an especially effective tool, if used in conjunction with text-based notifications.”

Run a gift card promotion. “Small Business Saturday is often associated with gift-giving, and configuring a BOGO or ‘buy 3 get 1 free’ style gift card promotion is a great way to increase gift card sales and offer your customers an amazing value.”

Bring in new customers with introductory pricing. “For those who offer memberships, consider offering new customers discounted introductory pricing. Coupled with a seasonal promotion, this new feature can help you entice new customers by offering excellent value and exclusive rates at one or multiple locations.”

Display gift cards at the register. “Make sure gift cards are displayed at the register or with signs outside the store and on the sidewalk inviting people to come in and buy a thoughtful and quick gift—for themselves.”

Make it easy for walk-ins to see current wait times. “If you offer walk-in services, an integrative spa and salon technology that updates customers on changes to their wait time, or their position in line with an automated text or email, is a game-changer. Time is of the essence during the holidays, so turn wait time into productive time for walk-in clients by letting them know exactly how much time they have before their service.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.Rainbow over Montclair

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