Early Holiday Season Sales Are Strong – But Will This Continue on Small Business Saturday?
Today is Small Business Saturday when consumers are urged to shop with local independent retailers or online stores and marketplace sellers.
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With Adobe reporting earlier today that Black Friday sales online hit a new record at $9.12 billion, there is optimism that despite economic challenges, consumers are buying holiday gifts, and small businesses today could also see stronger sales than many may have thought.
But there is a big BUT as larger online retailers were stocked full of inventory ahead of the holiday season and looking at ways to reduce this excess stock through deep discounting, especially on Black Friday.
This is far more difficult for small retailers who often operate on thinner margins and may have resisted or were financially unable to stock up too much on inventory due to the inflationary environment.
Worrying Signs for Small Business Saturday
Even Adobe’s prediction for Small Business Saturday was measured, suggesting growth among SMBs (by their definition retailers with $10 million to $50 million in annual revenue) was 3 times less than large retailers (over $1 billion in annual revenue).
Many marketplace sellers and small businesses don’t even fall into the small business category as Adobe defines it, potentially suggesting that online sellers with even less annual revenue could be in more trouble.
It appears that while this holiday season is showing strong online sales, profits could be lagging as shoppers are looking for bargains.
Can small businesses stay competitive this year on Small Business Saturday without degrading margins too much? That will be the big question today and for the rest of the holiday season.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.