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Shop Small: Tips to Boost Your Revenue this November



Shop Small: Tips to Boost Your Revenue this November

Encourage shoppers to support your business.

Shop Small is an Australia-wide celebration of local businesses, spearheaded by American Express. The initiative encourages shoppers to make more considered purchasing decisions and support locally-owned stores, rather than department stores and big-box retailers, by giving shoppers an added incentive to spend at small businesses.

This November, American Express card members can go in the running to win a share of 10 million points by shopping at small businesses using their American Express card. Shopping locally helps businesses grow, fosters creativity and entrepreneurship, and creates an innovative marketplace that benefits the wider community. Since its Australian launch in 2013, the Shop Small initiative has contributed more than $6 billion to the small business sector through increased card member spend.

Zeller is proud to partner with American Express and help drive more awareness of shopping small. As part of that partnership, every Zeller merchant is automatically listed on American Express’ Shop Small map to help community-minded customers find your business. 

Keep reading to discover more about the Shop Small movement, as well as some more easy (and free) ways to get in on the action and jump start your holiday sales.

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More consumers are choosing to shop locally

The Shop Small movement has gained significant momentum in recent years — so much so that a recent study shows almost six in ten Aussie shoppers would refuse to visit a big brand business if a locally-owned store offered the same item.

Small business owners have faced a tough couple of years, navigating challenges such as bushfires, drought and lockdowns, as well as cut-price competitors — especially when it comes to fast fashion. These realities have not been lost on consumers. In fact, 71% of Australians say they’re more connected to local businesses today than they were pre-pandemic. It seems one silver lining of lockdowns is a renewed sense of community, which extends to supporting local businesses.

5 tips to boost spending this November and beyond 

There are a few things you can do to remind shoppers to keep it local by visiting smaller brick-and-mortar stores, like yours, and to ensure a smooth customer experience when they do visit.

1. Advertise for free on social media

Organic social media posts are free advertising for your business. Plus, with tools like hashtags and geo-tags, you can ensure your posts are surfaced to the right audience — local shoppers.

Start posting announcements of any sales you’re holding, new items in your range, popular products that you’ve needed to restock, and invite people to shop locally instead of visiting the big retailers.

2. Refresh your window displays and signage

It’s likely your store has street-facing exposure. If this is the case, are you making the most of it? Frequently refreshing your window displays to showcase your range is one tactic to attract shoppers’ eyes during key retail periods — like Christmas. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming everyone knows where you’re located.

Take the time to assess your store signage. Can people clearly see it from the street? Is it cutting through the noise of the bustling high street? Is it clear what you sell, or offer? Consider if there are opportunities to optimise your store’s impact and visibility with small changes like updating your signage, which won’t break the bank.

Even temporary displays to encourage and celebrate Shop Small are worth considering. American Express has a selection of decals you can order online to display in your window, and digital logos you can add to your website.

3. Bring your small business payments up to date

When it comes to adapting to change, small business owners are at an advantage. As a small business owner, you are closer to both your products and your customers. You have the ability to make instant changes, rather than waiting for decisions to go through the various levels of approval required in big business. Recognise this powerful advantage and make full use of it.

One of the changes you have undoubtedly come across is customers’ waning attention spans and unwillingness to wait. Customers are becoming less and less patient, and many will abandon their would-be purchases if the queue for payment is too long. Similarly, if staff are unable to accept a customer’s chosen method of payment, you risk losing the sale. Here’s where it pays to invest in an efficient, contactless mobile terminal that meets all hygiene, wait time and payment expectations.

Ready to get started with Zeller?

Zeller Terminal allows you to process every card and smart device payment quickly and seamlessly, ensuring you never miss a chance to make a sale. Staff can even rove around the store, cutting down queues and ensuring payments are processed quickly so that every customer leaves your store happy and satisfied with their purchase. Plus, every in-person transaction costs just 1.4% — even payments made using American Express.

4. Partner up with other small businesses

This month is prime time to bring your community together. Can you create an event with other local businesses — such as a Small Business Saturday fete, or even a late-night neighbourhood shopping crawl? Nibbles, bubbles and raffles often draw a crowd. 

Partnering with other local businesses can even help you to identify cross-marketing opportunities with mutual benefit. You may, for example, approach the local plant store and ask to place a few in your ornamental pots to sell as a bundle. 

You could also do this with your own products. Hand cream goes with pumice stones, candles go with candle snuffers, cocktail mix sets go with jars of dried oranges, and socks and jock sets can be matched. Make it easy for your customers to grab their Christmas presents. 

5. Give back to your community

Shoppers like to see businesses supporting others, too. Various studies show people are more likely to support your small business if they know you’re contributing similarly. Is there a way your business can give back? 

You could consider donating a portion of your profits for the month of November to a charity, or host a fundraiser. It’s a good idea to keep your support relevant to the local community. New reading materials for the local aged care home, kibble for a dog shelter or new games for a kindergarten are all good starting points. 

Bonus: Boost spending by accepting American Express

Shoppers using American Express to make their purchases reportedly spend 1.8X more than non-American Express card holders. Accepting this common card type at your business is an easy way to increase revenue. 

Our small businesses are at the heart of what makes our local communities great. Use the tips above to encourage consumers to shop with your small business this November, and support other local businesses where you can.