Small Business Saturday has become part of the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, as a way to help local shops compete against the big-name Black Friday and Cyber Monday giants. This year, Etsy and American Express OPEN are taking Small Business Saturday one step further and helping independent online sellers bring their products into the physical retail world.
On Saturday, Nov. 29, small retailers across the country will open their doors to Etsy sellers and host in-store trunk shows. The trunk show program encourages business owners to source products from these Etsy sellers and display them in-store in front of a wider consumer base.
"Etsy's Small Business Saturday partnership with American Express OPEN is designed to celebrate and shine the light on the independent businesses who are supporting Etsy sellers through the Etsy Wholesale platform," said Rand Niederhoffer, senior program manager at Etsy Wholesale. "These businesses will connect with local Etsy sellers in their area and bring their collections into their stores."
Etsy Wholesale, which launched out of beta in August 2014, is Etsy's new B2B marketplace that lets vetted sellers grow and scale their businesses in the larger retail community. The platform has partnerships with companies like Nordstrom and West Elm, and allows sellers to increase their brand recognition through a presence in boutiques. The Etsy-American Express OPEN trunk-show program aims do this and, in turn, boost business for both Etsy sellers and the local shops who host the trunk shows. [7 Handmade Business Ideas for Nonartists]
"The trunk shows will provide sellers with an opportunity to interact and engage with customers in a relaxed, convivial environment," Niederhoffer told Business News Daily. "For Etsy designers, it's an invaluable way to connect with their local community, reach new customers and develop lasting relationships. For customers, meeting a designer in person and hearing their unique story and process can be a one-of-a-kind experience. And for retailers, a robust event program can bring new customers through the door while supporting their local economies."
Business owner Michelle Smith, who is hosting a Small Business Saturday Etsy trunk show in her North Carolina-based boutique and coffee shop Gather, encouraged other local businesses to participate in the program.
"In-person events can play a pivotal role in building brand loyalty," Smith said. "Don't miss the opportunity. Treat your Small Business Saturday event like it's a job interview — come prepared to discuss the ins and outs of your collection, make sure you know your product details like the back of your hand and, most of all, be yourself. Success will surely follow."
Small business owners who host a Small Business Saturday trunk show will receive a $25 Etsy gift card to purchase supplies, two $25 American Express Shop Small Reward Cards, a trunk show promotional kit and a spot on Etsy's Small Business Saturday Eventbrite page. For more information on the trunk show program or to sign up, visit Etsy's blog post.
Originally published on Business News Daily.