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Cyber Monday Sales Drop For The First Time Ever In 2021

This Cyber Monday, consumers spent upwards of $10.7 billion collectively on deals from their favorite online retailers. However, according to data from Adobe Analytics, this total marks a 1.4% decrease when compared to the lowest amount spent during Cyber Monday on record. 

Adobe Analytics initially began tracking e-commerce in 2012, and analyzes more than 1 trillion visits to retailer websites. This year’s tally for Cyber Monday marks the first time that the company has recorded a slowdown in spending on a major shopping day during the holiday season. 

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Last Cyber Monday wasn’t much different either, with consumers spending about $10.8 billion online. Last year was more predictable, however, as we were still in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, and most people weren’t leaving their house or in a position to spend a lot of money for the holidays. 

Adobe is still expecting that throughout the rest of this year’s holiday season, online retailer’s will see a relative increase in e-commerce activity. More shoppers have been opting to spread out their orders when it comes to holiday shopping to make it easier to pay off certain gifts. 

Between November 1st and Cyber Monday consumers in the US alone have spent about $109.8 billion online, which is an 11.9% increase from last year’s numbers, and the previous year’s. The company is anticipating digital sales to reach $207 billion by the end of the year, which would represent a record hain of 10%. 

Adobe reported that the Cyber Monday sales stats aren’t exactly surprising either. As previously mentioned, more shoppers have been spreading out the days in which they spend their money, as opposed to waiting for “Cyber Week” (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday) to get all their shopping done. 

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Many larger online retailers have seen these patterns, and have even gone as far as to offer Black Friday deals all autumn and winter. Adobe reported that retailers made about $8.9 billion in online sales this Black Friday, and about $5.1 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving Day. 

According to data from Sensormatic Solutions, another retail tracker, shopper traffic on Black Friday was up 47.5% when compared to last year’s numbers, however, it was still down 28.3% when compared to 2019/pre-pandemic levels. 

“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” said Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights.

Adobe predicts that online retail trends will continue to fuel the market throughout the holiday season as deals on major retail websites like Amazon, Target, and Walmart continue to push “Black Friday Deals” throughout the entire holiday season.

Black Friday

Companies Begin Black Friday Deals Early As Supply Chain Concerns Persist

This holiday season, major companies are getting ahead of the shopping curve. Amazon revealed their “Black Friday-Worthy Deals” event and have already starting promoting holiday gift guides and items on their website, while Target unveiled its “Deal Days” event which ran from Oct. 10 to Oct. 12.

Meanwhile, Best Buy announced its Black Friday deals would start on Oct. 19 and end on Oct. 22, and that their “true” Black Friday sale would start a week prior, on Nov. 19. Best Buy is also implementing a price guarantee, meaning prices won’t go lower prior to Black Friday.

These moves are being done in response to the shift in consumers’ preferences when it comes to the timing of their shopping. Speaking to NBC Nightly News’ Stephanie Rhule, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry explained that they saw “not just a willingness” from their customers, but a “want to try to start early” when it comes to holiday shopping.

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In a survey conducted by RetailMeNot — that polled 1,082 U.S. adults — it was found that 24% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping pre-Thanksgiving, while 22% plan to start in October. Additionally, 66% said they’d prefer to get holiday shopping out of the way as soon as possible, while 33% said they’re starting shopping earlier than they did in 2020.

According to Barry, Best Buy is going into the holiday season with 50% more inventory, which is 20% more than two years ago. Barry also said to expect inflation on certain products, such as appliances – although she did stress other products’ prices remain “competitive.”

Meanwhile, RetailMeNote found that shoppers plan to spend 15% more than they did last year, and that the average consumer holiday spending in 2021 would be at $885.76, up $119 from 2020. As the Washington Times Herald notes, experts are projecting that Black Friday sales will break for $12 billion, and Cyber Monday could hit for around $11.8 billion.

Both those numbers would be record-breaking, and it continues a trend that is seeing consumers spending insanely big for holidays (Halloween is projected to see $10.14 billion spent, another record).

Aside from consumer desires, one of the biggest reasons companies are pushing up their Black Friday sales is due to the supply-chain problems that have arisen. The Los Angeles Times says that labor, logistics, and transportation costs are up, capacity has been reduced, there’s a shortage of truck drivers, and resources have been thinned – all culprits of the expected inflations and late deliveries.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play a nasty part. Trading between countries has become a bare at borders and ports due to travel restrictions. Don’t expect much positive change in the meantime, either – Moody’s Analytics warned that supply chain problems will “get worse before they get better.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that experts say it might take six months to a whole year before the backlogs are sorted out, far beyond the upcoming seasonal rush.

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For consumers, shopping now might be the smart decision, whether it’s preferable to them or not. Continued supply chain problems could lead to shortages in popular products in the weeks leading up to major holidays – a reason companies like Best Buy are stocking up their inventory now.

Target gave updates on how it plans to overcome supply chain challenges, stating large investments put into operations, adding more facilities, sortation, and distribution centers, and integrating further stocking technology. Additionally, Target announced that it was hiring 30,000 positions in supply chain operations.

However, Target is also trimming the amount of seasonal workers they hire. This year, they plan to hire 100,000 seasonal roles, which is about 30,000 less than last year. Instead, they’ll opt to give more hours to the workers they currently have.

Black Friday Sale

Best Black Friday Deals You Can Find On Amazon Right Now

Now that Black Friday is finally here, shoppers are logging into as many online retailers as possible to avoid the crowds at the malls or stores, and shop safer this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the most popular retailers is of course Amazon, and this year they’re offering a multitude of deals on some of their most well-known products. 

Echo Flex: The Echo Flex is a small smart speaker that simply plugs into any outlet and will turn any room into a melodic space filled with your favorite tunes. The Flex is currently on sale for $9.99, originally $24.99.

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Echo Dot: The fourth-generation Echo Dot is Amazon’s latest Dot model and features a new sleek spherical shape. The Echo Dot is on sale for the first time this Black Friday for just $28.99 for the base model, or for $10 more you could get the Echo Dot with Clock or the Kids Edition.

Ring Video Doorbells: Ring Video doorbells are some of the most popular video-security devices on the market now. The sleek design comes in both silver and bronze to match any homes aesthetic, and is now on sale for pricing starting at $70. The doorbells feature 1080p HD video and are super easy to install.

Echo Show 8: Originally $130 the Echo Show 8 is now on sale for the low price of $65! The smart display is now available at its lowest price ever and comes in both charcoal and sandstone color schemes. 

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Kindle Paperwhite: The Kindle Paperwhite is one of the most popular e-readers on the market currently. Starting at just $85 this Black Friday, the paperwhite is the perfect gift for any reader in your life. It’s the thinnest model Amazon’s ever released, and it’s waterproof in case you accidentally spill anything on it.

Fire HD Tablet 8 Plus: Originally $110 the Fire HD Tablet 8 Plus is now on sale for just $75! This is also CNN’s budget pick for best tablet of the holiday season.

Fire TV Recast: On sale for $180, the Fire TV Recast is the perfect DVR device for any cable lover in your life. The Recast gives you the ability to watch and record over-the-air TV at home with your Fire TV or Echo Show! You can also record on-the-go with the mobile app. 

Echo Buds: Originally $130 the Echo Buds are now on sale for $80. These wireless earbuds bring Alexa on-the-go with you and offer an immersive sound experience, and a battery-life lasting up to 5 hours of continuous audio.  

Fire TV Cube: On sale for $80, the Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s most powerful Fire TV device that allows for easy Alexa-enabled entertainment. The Cube can also control any other Amazon smart home devices you have in the home.

Best Black Friday Tech Deals For Students Of All Ages 

Regardless of if you’re heading into middle school, high school, or college, Black Friday is the perfect time to start looking for new devices and technology that will not only help you in school, but in your personal life as well. Many brands have already begun their Black Friday deals online as a means of making up for the lack of foot traffic they’ll likely experience this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are some of the most highly anticipated and popular tech devices going on sale this week:

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Tablets: Tablets are great for kids all ages, and now that there’s a multitude of child-friendly tablet devices on the market, there’s never been more options for you this year. Amazon’s Fire HD 7 Kids Edition tablet is going on sale for $60, which is $40 off its original price, and this deal will be active until December 1st. Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is now $80 as well, $60 off its original price. This deal is also active until December 1st. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is $279.99 at Walmart, $70 off its original price and the deal also includes 64GB of storage and an S Pen.

Laptops: For older kids entering into their college years, Black Friday is the perfect time to purchase a new personal computer for themselves. One of the most popular laptops used among college student’s is the HP Envy due to its high quality performance, and touchscreen capabilities. The laptop is going on sale for $750, which is $250 off its original price. 

Speakers: While speakers may not necessarily be as helpful in your schooling as a laptop, creating a comfortable environment where one is able to play their calming music as they study for the big exam is helpful in itself. Some of the most popular speakers on the market that are going on sale this year include the Sonos Move speaker which is available for $300 on Amazon and Best Buy, $100 off its original pricing. Amazon’s third generation Echo Dot is also now just $19, and the Echo Studio is $40 off as well for $160. 

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Smartphones: Cell phones in general are always a great product to buy on Black Friday because pretty much all kinds of smartphones go on sale. Apple’s iPhone SE is projected to be $200 at Best Buy when one trades in their iPhone 7 or newer. Samsung’s Galaxy A51 is now on sale for $275 as Best Buy as well, $125 off its original pricing. Motorola’s Moto G Stylus is 50% off at Best Buy for $150.

Headphone Deals: Headphones are a universally great gift for anyone, and this year some of the most popular wireless ones are going on sale. The Bose 700 noise-canceling headphones are currently $340 at Amazon, $40 off their original price. This deal will be active until January 4th. Some alternative colors are also on sale for as low as $299 at Best Buy. Apple’s AirPods Pro are $200 also at Best Buy, $50 off their original price. Sony’s WH-1000XM4 are $280 at Best Buy, $72off their original price.

Smart Home Devices: The Philips Hue White Color Ambiance 3-pack will transform any room into a multi-colored paradise. LED lights are extremely trendy and popular right now, so take it a step further and add some sophistication to your room by picking up these lightbulbs at Best Buy on Black Friday for $100, $35 off its original pricing!

These Retailers Are Celebrating Black Friday Early This Year

With the Covid-19 pandemic throwing a major wrench in the way we all shop, many major retailers throughout the country are deciding to start their Black Friday deals online and early to give consumers ample time to take advantage of the year’s biggest day of sales. And since it’s still early in the holiday season, getting all of your shopping done now will make for less stress later. 

Abbio: The week of October 23rd to October 30th Abbio kitchen is offering its customers 25% of the entire site as a part of the brand’s pre-Thanksgiving VIP sale. Just use the code ABBIOHOLIDAY25 at checkout to receive your deal. Additionally, if you miss this round of sales, from November 26th to November 30th Abbio will be offering 25% off the entire site again for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, simply use code ABBIOBF25 at checkout. 

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Best Buy: Best Buy has already started their holiday season with their daily Deal of the Day. This type of promotion is typical for major retailers like Best Buy during the holiday season, as it gives consumers something to look forward to in regard to waiting for something they want to go on sale. As the name suggests the item on sale changes everyday, but so far Best Buy has offered savings on amazing technology such as the Bella Pro Series 8-quart air fryer, Nixplay digital photo frame, Wakeman camping tent and Conair Hot Air Brush Styler. 

Dell: If you’re in the market for a new PC laptop or computer this holiday season look no further than Dell. Dell is known already for being one of the most affordable and well-functioning brands in terms of their personal computers. The company has already begun rolling out some Black Friday deals on their monitors and other various electronics; currently laptop models are on sale for up to 28% off!

Home Depot: If you have a handy individual in your life you’ve most likely shopped at Home Depot for gifts before, or maybe you just need to pick up some new materials for a home improvement project and you don’t want to break the bank. Either way, Home Depot is already offering a multitude of holiday sales, their biggest has yet to come, however. From November 6th to December 2nd Home Depot will be offering deals on holiday decorations, appliances, tools, and more. You can even pre-order your Christmas Tree now to make it less stressful for you come December!

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Lowe’s: Keeping up with the home improvement theme, Lowe’s is also offering a bunch of holiday deals this year. Like Best Buy, Lowes has begun offering one-day Cyber Steals to motivate customers to check their website everyday for what the daily deal might be. So far the savings have reached up to 40% on select appliances and home renovation items!

Macy’s: Macy’s is known for being one of the go-to establishments on Black Friday, and this year they’re carrying that energy into their online Black Friday deals; which will officially begin on November 16th. Macy’s will have sales in every single one of their departments as usual. 

Target: Target will begin offering their Balck Friday deals throughout the entire month of November with discounts on home goods, clothing, accessories, electronics, and even groceries. Starting on November 29th customers will be able to preview the stores weekly Black Friday Now deals that will last for the entirety of the holiday season. Also, this year Target is introducing price-adjustments from November 1st to December 24th on any item that’s advertised as a Black Friday deal but offered at a lower price online or in store. 

Walmart: This retail giant normally always starts their Black Friday deals early in the season to ease some of the pressure of the actual day. Walmart is starting their deals on November 4th and will progressively add more and more as time goes on until it’s actual Black Friday.

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Walmart Will Close All Of Its Stores On Thanksgiving This Year

Walmart announced this week that it will be keeping all of its retail locations closed on Thanksgiving this year. Traditionally, Walmart begins its epic Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving, drawing massive crowds of individuals ready to take advantage of all the sales. However, this year due to Covid-19 concerns and the uncertainty of how far along a vaccine will be by November, the corporation is deciding now to close down for the holiday. 

All Sam’s Club stores will also be closed down, marking a huge departure from company tradition, however, as we’ve seen with countless annual parades, award shows, music festivals, etc. many cultural traditions have been put on pause indefinitely until the world gets a better handle on this virus that’s infecting millions.  

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Sam’s Club is a part of Walmart’s warehouse chain and it normally is closed down on Thanksgiving every year anyway, so that choice wasn’t that out of the ordinary. John Furner, the president and CEO of Walmart in the US recently released a statement in which he praised all of his employees for being so patient and dedicated during these uncertain times.  

“We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones. We are certainly thankful to our people for all of their efforts.”

Walmart normally is open during its regular hours on Thanksgiving, but has special roped off areas where Black Friday merchandise that’s already marked down is on sale. The sales begin to appear more and more as the day progresses until they open again on Black Friday itself, where the whole store is essentially marked down. 

Last year, Walmart made the decision to start its Black Friday door-buster sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving which, business wise, draws a ton of customers into the store early before they go to all their other favorite retail establishments the next day. 

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Walmart and other major retail corporations in America typically always stay open on Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend is one of the biggest retail events to happen annually, however, that doesn’t mean that these retail giants haven’t faced their fair share of criticism for doing this. 

Pandemic aside, normally many customers and employees ban together in their belief that everyone deserves to take the day off to spend it with their families and loved ones, as that’s the point of the entire holiday. Black Friday itself is a holiday specifically made for working in retail, so why should employees be expected to work both days in a row when the sales are the same? 

However, the decision to close this year was more so inspired by the pandemic directly and will likely not become an annual tradition, according to Furner who claimed in his statement that the decision to close was inspired by a manager at one of Walmart’s Texas locations. 

“Kevin Carlyle is the People Lead at Store #475 in Round Rock, Texas. He recently wrote us and suggested that we close for Thanksgiving during this unusual year, so that our associates could spend the day with their families.”

With this announcement the company also claimed that they would be providing their employees with an additional bonus of $150-$300 starting on August 20th. This is the third round of bonuses for employees since the beginning of the pandemic and any employee (part and full time) who started working for Walmart before July 31st will qualify.

Cyber Monday

Consumers Spent $9.4 Billion During Cyber Monday This Year

The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off with one of the most chaotic weekends for retail and online stores everywhere. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and finally Cyber Monday truly did set the tone for how intense holiday gift shopping is looking to be in the coming month. According to data curated by Adobe, Cyber Monday in particular broke e-commerce records, as shoppers in the United States spent about $9.4 billion online this year! 

According to the same data, Americans spent close to $1.5 billion more than they did last year; granted $3 billion of the money spent this year was on smartphones alone, another record broken for the smartphone industry. Technology has truly developed and thrived this year, so it makes sense that a hefty percentage of spending was on smartphones and other electronics that were on sale this Monday. 

During the peak times of online traffic, consumers were collectively spending $12 million every minute. After this weekend, US online shoppers have spent close to $82 billion since the beginning of November on their holiday shopping.  Representatives from Adobe said that the original forecast for Cyber Monday Sales didn’t exceed $8 billion, even with the massive amount of money consumers have already spent before this past weekend. 

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“That’s despite very aggressive pricing on the part of online sellers. “Retailers unlocked sales earlier to combat a shorter shopping season, while continuing to drive up promotion of the big branded days including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consumers capitalized on deals and ramped up spending, especially on smartphones, where activity increased on days when shoppers were snowed or rained in,” said John Copeland, head of Marketing and Consumer Insights at Adobe, in a statement.

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According to Tech Crunch Magazine, the top items sold this year on Cyber Monday included Frozen 2 merchandise, LOL Surprise Dolls, NERF products, Nintendo products, Star Wars merchandise, Samsung TV’s, Amazon Fire TV, Airpods, and air fryers. A diverse group of products for sure, but when we think about where each of these products fall demographic wise, it makes a lot of sense. Of course, smartphones also took a top spot, accounting for almost a third of the total money spent, sending overall smartphone sales for the year up 46%. 

Cyber Monday has been slowly taking the crown from Black Friday in terms of significant shopping days during this Thanksgiving weekend. More and more consumers are embracing the digital age and staying home instead of getting up early to go to the store and wait for hours in line to get a TV on sale that they could just buy for the same reduced price online that upcoming Monday. Additionally, this year the winter weather hit a lot of the US hard during Thanksgiving weekend, so customers were even less inclined to leave their homes, and more inclined to shop online. 

“Online shopping received some unexpected boosts this holiday season. Retailer fears of a shorter season meant that deals came much sooner than usual, and consumers took notice. In some areas of the country, adverse weather in the form of snow and heavy rain meant that many opted to stay home instead and grabbed the best deals online. Just look at Black Friday, which brought in $7.4 billion online and is just below last year’s Cyber Monday at $7.9 billion,” said Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights.

With online retail growing everyday, it makes perfect sense that Cyber Monday brought in so much money this year. Tech Crunch predicts that in total consumers will spend $14 billion more than they did this year on their online shopping alone. It’s truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

 

Cyber Monday

Top 5 Best Cyber Monday Deals for 2019

In recent years, Cyber Monday has eclipsed Black Friday as one of the best days of the year for deals on all manner of products. The number of items on sale across the Internet is surely in the thousands, and it can be difficult to find the best deals. As such, this article details some of the best deals on some of the most popular products this holiday season.

1) Apple Airpods

Wireless earbuds are all the rage as of late, and for iPhone users, there’s perhaps no better option than Apple’s own Airpods. Normally $159, they can be purchased for $144 today only from Walmart. While this is not the best deal on this list, Airpods are an extremely popular gift this holiday season, and the wireless earphones are, as of this writing, currently sold out on Amazon and other retailers. Apple products rarely go on sale, so if you’re planning on giving Airpods as a gift this year, it’s a good idea to buy them today before the deal ends or they’re sold out.

2) Apple iPad

An even better deal can be found for the newest versions of Apple’s iPad, which can be purchased for up to $100 off today. The new iPad can be bought at a discount from various retailers, including Target, Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy today. On Target’s website, the 10.2 inch 32 GB iPad is $229.99, $100 less than its usual price. If you want to buy the tablet in other colors, however, you’ll have to spend $249.99, which is still a substantial discount. Apple’s latest version of its popular tablet is its best yet, and thanks to software updates and a wide range of accessories, the iPad is a powerful mobile computer which can be had for an excellent price.

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3) Xbox One X

Video game consoles are often a great holiday gift for children and teenagers, and the most recent gaming consoles are as affordable as they’ve ever been. The Xbox One X, Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Playstation 4 and Nintendo’s Switch, can be purchased at a $200 discount for $299 from B&H today only. The Xbox One X is an update to the Xbox One, and supports 4K and HDR output. As such, the console makes a great gift for fans of video games who want to enjoy some of the best graphics console gaming has to offer, as long as they have a TV compatible with the console’s advanced visual features.

4) Amazon Fire TV Stick

Another great entertainment option is Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, which plugs into the HDMI port on a TV and grants access to a wide variety of streaming video services, including Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and Amazon Prime Video. The Fire TV Stick is offered for $19.99, half of its usual price, on Amazon, Target, and Best Buy. The Fire TV Stick transforms any HDTV into a Smart TV, and its easy-to-use interface is ideal for accessing movies and TV shows. The device’s remote even offers a voice input feature through Alexa. For just under $20, the Fire TV Stick is a great option for streamlining one’s TV-watching experience.

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5) Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

While the Apple Watch is likely the best available smartwatch for iPhone users, people who have Android phones have a plethora of options for compatible devices. Probably the best smartwatch for Android users is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which is currently $50 off on Amazon. Both the 40mm and 44 mm sizes are on sale today, and can be purchased for $229 and $249 respectively. Though it was released just months after Samsung’s other Active smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, this watch offers a number of improvements over its predecessor, including more accurate heart-rate sensors and a 2-day battery life. The watch works especially well with Samsung smartphones, making the watch an excellent gift for someone who has a Galaxy or Note phone.

As always, time is of the essence when shopping for deals on Cyber Monday, as the products listed here as well as countless others are likely to be sold out by the end of the day. It’s a good idea to take advantage of these deals while they last and complete your holiday shopping when you can save the most money.

Small Business Meeting

How To Prepare Your Business For “Small Business Saturday”

With Thanksgiving right around the corner shoppers are eagerly planning and waiting for one of the biggest retail holidays of the year. Once the turkey’s have been eaten and the last slice of pumpkin pie is gone, shoppers across the country get ready to wake up early and head to some of their favorite stores in an attempt to get a great Black Friday deal. Black Friday, however, is just the beginning of an extended weekend of shopping deals. Cyber Monday takes the title of second most recognized holiday shopping affair, however, one that is often overlooked is Small Business Saturday. A Saturday that’s meant to remind consumers everywhere that while they’re shopping at retail giants for the holidays this year, don’t forget about the hard-workers that make up local small businesses. Supporting your local small business is especially important during the holidays, while retail in general tends to boom during the holiday month, small businesses are often disregarded in terms of shopping, when superstores and online retail giants have taken over. 

Owning a small business is something that you should pride yourself greatly in. Running an entire establishment and keeping up with modern retail trends can definitely be difficult, but millions of Americans are out there doing it and succeeding. There’s many ways that these businesses can keep up a modern and fresh image, especially during this major shopping weekend, to really draw customers in. 

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Store design, graphics, and branding is obviously so important to catching the consumers attention. The holidays give small business owners another great opportunity to do a mini “re-branding” of their businesses aesthetic, and doing so will draw in the attention of holiday lovers everywhere. If you own a store front property, don’t be afraid to invest in some lights and other festive decorations to engulf the outside space of your business. While tedious, holiday decorations in general evoke a very “homey” and euphoric reaction in customers and will draw them in to see what kind of holiday specials you’re offering. The same goes for interior design, don’t be afraid to make your space festive with some little pre-lit Christmas trees, ribbon, twinkly lights, and glitter, glitter always helps. Even if you just have customers coming in to take photos of the amazing decorating work you’ve done, that’s free publicity right there, so don’t be afraid to do what you need to do in order to get the most foot traffic. 

Social media presence is a major requirement for owning a small business in this age. Your online presence is how you advertise, especially if your business is locally based. If you don’t have any sort of social media profiles for your business, definitely make a few! Especially for the holiday season and Small Business Saturday (SBS), you can turn to your platforms to inform your following of all the great SBS sales you have going on. Word spreads the quickest when it’s done through digital communication, so don’t hesitate to join the digital age, especially when it comes to your business. 

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In preparation for SBS, you also want to ensure that all lines of communication relating to your business are up and running. Telephone lines are cleared, internet access is set up, and you have staff ready to answer any customer questions in a quick and efficient matter. Relating to technology, you want to ensure any digital devices that you use to run your business are set up and in working order before the holiday weekend rush. If you know for a fact that you’re likely to get major foot traffic at one point or the other during the day, maybe invest in an additional “Square Terminal” that can simply be plugged into your phone (or employee’s phones) to take care of credit card transactions with customers, (assuming you’re in some sort of retail industry). Running a small business as smoothly as possible during a holiday retail weekend will stick with customers, and most likely lead to word spreading about all  the great deals your having. 

Finally, ensure that you and your team are ready and prepared for this holiday season. Employee’s tend to feel residual stress from the holiday’s in general that they bring into the workplace, and understandably so. The holidays in general can cause a whole slew of emotions and stresses to occur, be the leader they need you to be and ensure everyone that you’re a team and will work together the whole way through. Bringing in some holiday snacks might keep morale up as well. So whip out the cookie mix, Christmas lights, holiday ads, high-speed internet, and get ready for another successful year in the books of running a successful small business. And good luck this Saturday!

Christmas Market

We’ve Looked at Six Fantastic Christmas Markets You Should Visit This December

With Christmas only five weeks away it is time to start putting together your list of presents, activities and decoration shopping and although the thought of heading to the bigger stores can be appealing we think a Christmas market is an even better idea.

We’ve looked at some of the markets across the country and put together some of the best, and funkiest, markets for you to choose from.

Christmas Village, Philadelphia

Based on the traditional German markets, the Christmas Village in Philadelphia has many German vendors selling authentic German trinkets, Christmas decorations, toys, accessories and much more. It is always worth going to these German markets with an empty stomach so you can fill up on amazing goodies including German bratwursts, a glass of Gluhwein, schnitzels and cotton candy.

When: November 28th – December 24th 2019
Open: Sunday to Thursday, 11am – 7pm. Friday to Saturday, 11am – 8pm. Thanksgiving Day 9am – 5pm & Christmas Eve 11am – 5pm.
Where: Love Park, JFK Plaza, Philadelphia

Georgetown Christmas Markets, Colorado

If you fancy a more traditional setting for a Christmas market head over to Colorado and their snowy mountains to the beautiful town of Georgetown and join in with their 60th annual Christmas market. As well as their outdoor European marketplace there are also horse drawn wagon rides, Christmas museum tours, appearances by St. Nicholas, carolers in Victorian dress and a Santa Lucia Children’s Procession each day at noon.

Like most Christmas markets there is free entry leaving you more money to spend in the many stunning stalls selling a mixture of Christmas goodies, food and drink – including the amazing Colorado wine – and the different tours through Hamill House, Hotel de Paris and Energy Museums.

When: December 7th & 8th and December 14th & 15th 2019
Open: 10am – 5pm
Where: 6th Street, Downtown Georgetown, Colorado

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Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Visited by locals and tourists alike, Christkindlmarkt is an experience for everyone. Celebrating their 27th year there have been many new booths added for 2019 meaning you can buy your Christmas presents, eat your Christmas food and listen to the live Christmas music that is played the entire day.

You can also treat your pets here with several booths dedicated to our furry friends, including a pet photo session with St. Nicholas on certain dates. Make sure you also visit the fire pits and igloos in the outdoor village!

When: November 22nd – December 22nd 2019
Open: Thursday (from 5th December) 11am – 6pm, Fridays 11am – 8pm, Saturdays 10am – 8pm and Sundays 10am – 6pm.
Where: Steelstacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Columbus Circle Holiday Market, New York

You cannot compile a guide to the best Christmas markets across the country without including New York.

New York City has several markets, including Union Square Holiday Market and Grand Central Holiday Fair however we think you should head to Columbus Circle Holiday Market in Central Park West.

Although this is one of the smaller markets it has a huge personality! The buzz you feel as you wander around the jewelry, Christmas decorations, scarves and gloves and children’s toys is something you may not experience in many other markets.

And with the location being Central Park West it is easy enough to head towards the Wollman Rink for some ice-skating under the New York skyline.

When: December 4th – 24th 2019
Open: Monday to Saturday 10am – 8pm, Sunday 10am – 7pm
Where: Columbus Circle, 59th Street, Central Park West, New York City

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The Old World Christmas Market, Wisconsin

Wisconsin may be famous for its cheese but their Old World Christmas Market is also something you should be visiting.

With similarities to the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, Wisconsin’s 22nd annual market is full of Christmas cheer from around the world. Whether you prefer Russian nesting dolls, Czech glass-blown ornaments or Estonia woollens there really is something for everyone.

Once you have finished your shopping head over to The Old World Food Court which has a fantastic choice of international fare, including Nuremberg bratwurst, apple strudel, dumplings and more. And if that isn’t enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, Father Christmas himself will be wandering around the market, ready to speak to anyone regardless of which list they have made!

When: December 6th – 15th 2019
Open: 10am – 5pm
Where: The Osthoff Resort, 101 Osthoff Avenue, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco

If you are looking for a Christmas fair with a difference head over to Daly City in San Francisco where they will be hosting their Great Dickens Christmas Fair, dedicated to life in Victorian London, England.

You’ll join hundreds of performers in a twilight evening in Charles Dickens’ London Town and can roam the winding streets in search of Christmas gifts, decorations, food and drink with the beautiful aroma of roasted chestnuts in the air.

When: November 23rd – December 22nd 2019
Open: 10am – 7pm
Where: Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, San Francisco

Whichever Christmas market you decide to head to – whether on our list or not – we’re sure you’ll have an amazing time.