Small Business Saturday Sales Reach Record $19.8 Billion

On November 28th, Small Business Saturday was celebrated once again. This year’s event was the 11th to occur as the Amex-founded retail holiday celebrated its 10th anniversary. Now, new figures suggest that the 2020 installment of Small Business Saturday was a success, with total sales nearing $20 billion.

According to the American Express 2020 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, this year’s event brought a total of $19.8 billion in sales to independent retails and restaurants. That marks a new record, improving on last year’s $19.6 billion tally. That’s especially impressive given the many hurdles that businesses and consumers faced this year.

On that note, online sales saw a significant increase this time around. Of Small Business Saturday shoppers surveyed, 56% reported patronizing businesses via ecommerce — up from 43% in 2019. Meanwhile, figures from Adobe Digital Insights show overall sales on Small Business Saturday totaling $4.7 billion in 2020 compared to $3.6 billion in 2019 and $3.1 billion in 2018.

Amex’s survey also found that awareness of Small Business Saturday has continued to increase. Additionally, 97% of respondents said that they realized how shopping small could have a positive impact on their community, with 85% also encouraging friends and family to shop small as well. It seems that social media was also a powerful tool this Small Business Saturday, with more than half of those surveyed stating that they either used various platforms to promote their favorite small businesses or ended up making a purchase from a small business because of something they saw on social media.

For business owners, this year’s Small Business Saturday couldn’t have come at a more important time. A Comcast Business survey conducted in September found that 86% of business owners had seen their revenue drop this year. Additionally, while one-in-five respondents say they’ve returned to normal operations, 53% predicted it will take six months to a year to reach that milestone with another 23% suggesting it would take a year or more.

As for American Express, they’ve also been working hard to expand their Shop Small promotion throughout the year, pledging $200 million to the cause. For example, back in May, it began offering cardholders $5 in statement credit when they spent at least $10 at an eligible small business (the offer could also be used up to 10 times). Additionally, the company has sought to promote diversity in entrepreneurship and support business owners of color by funding both the Coalition to Back Black Businesses Grant Program and the 100 for 100 program.

Despite hurdles such as closure mandates, health concerns, and more, Americans still managed to show up for business owners on Small Business Saturday. What’s more, the extra push that the event got during these unprecedented times likely helped grow awareness for the years ahead — all but ensuring a breakthrough to that $20 billion mark next year. Hopefully this strong start to the shopping season means that small businesses can enjoy a happy holiday after all.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

Bilt Rewards Launches Travel Portal with Benefits for Cardholders

Last year, the startup Bilt made a splash when it announced a new service that would reward users for paying their rent. That premise was then expanded upon with the launch of the Bilt Mastercard, which is issued by Wells Fargo. Now, continuing to capitalize on both the hype of their product and the demand for travel, Bilt has debuted another new offering for customers. This week, Bilt Rewards announced...

Cash App Introduces Round-Up Investing Feature for Debit Card

Debit card customers looking to grow their investments gained a new, automated option today as Block Inc. (formerly Square Inc.) officially announced a new feature for its popular Cash App. Now, customers with the Cash App Cash Card can opt into Round Ups as a means of growing their investments. When this feature is toggled on, Cash App will round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invest...

Marqeta Expands Credit Program with New APIs and More

A FinTech that specializes in creating credit card experiences is rolling out some new features. This week, Marqeta announced what it calls a "significant expansion" of its credit platform. This includes more than 40 new credit APIs that will further help clients craft and launch their own credit card products. Additionally, the company notes an updated intuitive dashboard. Using this platform, businesses can create unique card options that can not...