November 20

Is your Brand Ready for Small Business Saturday?

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Holiday shopping kicks into high gear this month as many prep their wish lists in anticipation of can’t-miss deals. Last year, eBay’s holiday site traffic surged by 28%. This sales boom is vital for small and medium-sized business (SMB) sellers, especially while they’re making preparations of their own for Small Business Saturday.

As the third shopping event of the “Cyber 5,” Small Business Saturday presents an opportunity for SMB sellers to go toe-to-toe with high-profile brands. Take it from Jennifer Werner, eBay’s Head of Industry. As an expert across verticals, Werner helps to drive lucrative relationships between SMBs—who are always highly engaged on eBay, but particularly so during the holiday shopping season—and larger brands. “Big brands come to eBay to offer their products and services to millions of small businesses,” she says. “They’re synergistic toward each other, especially during this important time of year.”

In the lead-up to Small Business Saturday, eBay’s SMBs are stocking up on inventory, expanding marketing budgets and conducting extensive research on their customers and promotions. Because of this increased activity on the platform, Werner says that this is a great time for larger brands targeting SMBs to be highly present on eBay and take advantage of the ability to reach millions of members of their target audience. These brands can develop stronger relationships with SMBs by building activations around key seller moments like Small Business Saturday and the holiday shopping season.

Inside the Small Business Mindset

As the heart of eBay’s marketplace are its small business sellers, who leverage the platform’s technology and entrepreneurial spirit to access millions of active buyers. Programs like Retail Revival and the Shine Awards promote SMBs on eBay to global audiences year-round. But according to Werner, Small Business Saturday is especially important to SMB sellers, who net a large portion of their revenue this time of year.

“Small Business Saturday is a key time where SMB sellers see the majority of their money come in during the holidays, which continues to increase from November into December,” she says.

This Saturday, November 24, eBay will invite shoppers to support and celebrate small business by browsing unique deals offered by eBay’s SMB sellers. Last year’s event drew 5.7x more user traffic compared to the previous year, amassing nearly 3.4 million impressions across the platform.

SMB seller prep begins as early as Q3, shares Werner, as sellers begin targeting eBay’s holiday shoppers. Perhaps most importantly, SMBs purchase more on eBay to strengthen inventory around this time. Already considered one of the platform’s most active segments year-round, SMB sellers typically make 540% more transactions than the average eBay buyer, shopping 2.8x more than other users in the Business & Industrial category and 1.2x more in eBay Motors.

Gearing Up for Next Year

Considering that SMBs on eBay are especially engaged and active this time of year, Werner says Small Business Saturday and the holidays are ideal moments for B2B advertisers to have a meaningful presence to the platform’s SMB community. eBay offers a variety of solutions for advertisers to reach their key SMB target based on their goals and objectives.

“Brands are applying learnings,” she explains. “They’re starting to figure out what they did right and what they could’ve done better to reach SMBs. Typically, we start engaging in those conversations right after holiday campaigns end.”

Thanks to eBay’s proprietary audience data, advertisers can better understand SMB buying behavior. B2B marketers have access to vast amounts of data on SMBs, who have remained active buyers throughout the platform’s 23-year existence.

“SMB sellers are intrinsic to our marketplace. We know their shopping and purchasing behavior, volume of transactions, past sales and high buying behavior,” says Werner. “With those insights, we can help B2B advertisers target them behaviorally.”

Brands can also tap eBay tools that allow for contextual targeting. eBay’s Client Insights and Analytics team is able to customize unique segments and build shop-alike models for brands that imitate audience shopping behavior.

As Werner puts it: “We’ll ask advertisers to put aside a small testing budget and try out different audience segments to see what works well and what doesn’t. These test audiences are fueled from insights we’ve gathered from our analysis of past and current campaigns with similar goals and KPIs.

With Small Business Saturday just around the corner, advertisers are set to learn from eBay’s wide range of SMB sellers. Similarly, large B2B brands that pay attention are positioned to build a foundation for steadfast relationships with these valuable users in the new year.

Ready to target passionate SMB buyers? Contact our ad sales team today.