American Express, TikTok Introduce Initiative to Help SMBs Reach New Audiences

American Express (NYSE: AXP) announced that it has partnered with TikTok “to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator, a new program to help small business owners reach a new generation of shoppers on Small Business Saturday, which is on November 26, 2022, and runs throughout the holiday shopping season.”

The partnership with TikTok “builds on the ongoing support American Express provides small businesses year-round and its goal to drive $100 billion in reported consumer spending at small businesses from 2021 through 2025.”

Starting November 14, the #ShopSmall Accelerator will “include an offer for eligible small business owners to earn a $100 TikTok advertising credit.”

In addition, small business owners will be “given access to tools and resources to think like TikTok creators, including a tutorial at AmericanExpress.com/ShopSmallAccelerator on how their businesses can stand out on the platform.”

Lifestyle creators Anna Sitar @annaxsitar and Sofia Bella @iamsofiabella, along with small business owner Brandon Blackwood @brandonblackwoodnyc, will “teach small business owners how to use TikTok as a search engine; leverage sounds, trends, hashtags and communities; and how to drive engagement with users.”

To help small businesses get discovered by new audiences, American Express “has also partnered with musical artist Chlöe Bailey @chloebaileywashere to create a ‘Shop Small Soundtrack,’ which TikTok users can add to their content.”

Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express, stated:

“The #ShopSmall Accelerator will help give small merchants the tools they need to reach the next generation of consumers on TikTok, where our Shop Small Impact Study found that 67% of Gen Z users have shopped from a small business that was displayed on their For You Page. Shopping small has a significant impact on helping local communities, with two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses staying within the local community. Last year, consumers reported spending more than $23B shopping small on Small Business Saturday, and we want to exceed that in 2022.”

Sofia Hernandez, Global Head of Business Marketing for TikTok, remarked:

“More and more American small businesses are turning to TikTok to take us inside their world in a fun authentic way, and as a result, they are reaching new customers, hiring more employees and growing their business. The real world impact is undeniable, with 44% of TikTok users saying that they discovered something on the platform and immediately went out to buy it, according to our Global Retail Path To Purchase Study. This holiday season, the TikTok community is ready to #ShopSmall and support small businesses.”

Based on data in the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper “spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the US.”

The study also “found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the US stays in the local community and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.”

63% of small business owners “said they want to grow their Gen Z and Millennial customer base this holiday season, and 50% agreed that Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever for their business this holiday shopping season.”

Small Business Saturday was “created in 2010 to help small businesses and communities thrive.”

Since then, it has “turned into a nationwide Shop Small movement that is celebrated annually and is critical for small businesses during the holiday shopping season.”

American Express “provides ongoing support to small businesses year-round through the Shop Small Resource Hub where small business owners have access to complimentary marketing supplies and resources; Amex Offers for Merchants for services ranging from technology to shipping solutions; a new, dedicated Small Business Saturday page from Business Class, featuring insights, tips, and inspiration; and more.”

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