American Express is celebrating 10 years of Small Business Saturday by giving small business owners the information and tools they need to succeed in a changing world. And it’s bringing those insights to life through The Big Future of Shopping Small, an interactive retail space in New York City that “introduces shoppers and small business owners to the future of retail, showcasing how technology and innovation are making shopping easier, more personalized, and sustainably conscious.”
“Between the presence of big retailers and a crowded online world, small businesses must rethink how they’ll stand out in the future,” the entrance to the experience declares. “To explore this, we’ve reimagined Main Street to showcase the ways in which stores will use technology and innovation to change the landscape.”
The Big Future of Shopping Small features technology such as augmented reality, which powers a virtual boutique that allows multiple small businesses to share shelf space, and enhances product labels to link to additional text, videos, or online stores to tell a complete brand story; artificial intelligence that uses biometrics to predict consumer preferences; and payment technologies that make “frictionless shopping” a reality—no more waiting in line to check out.
The shopping experience, open to the public this weekend, coincides with a decade of supporting local businesses. “I’m especially delighted that you’re all here to help us celebrate a really important milestone,” said Walter Frye, vice president of global brand engagement for American Express, at the Toast to 10 Years of Small Business Saturday event.
But the pop-up shop is just one of the ways American Express is marking the anniversary. It’s also partnering with Main Street America to give $10,000 grants to 10 small businesses to “help their businesses innovate in this evolving retail landscape.” The application will be available starting Nov. 30th.
According to new research, a majority of Americans (77%) are interested in spending money at a small business on Small Business Saturday this year, for the following reasons:
- to keep money in their community (65%)
- because small businesses are better for the character of the community (44%)
- because they want to support someone who owns or works at a small business (39%)
- because small businesses provide better products/services (34%)
Over the last nine years, Americans have spent more than $100 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, with two-thirds of those dollars estimated to stay in the local communities.