American Express has revolutionized the way consumers shop. Now they are empowering users by giving them the tools to cope in a changing world. The company recently celebrated 10 years of Small Business Saturday. They announced that they will be bringing their insights to life through The Big Future of Shopping Small. This initiative features an interactive retail space in New York City that introduces the shopper and small business owner to the future of shopping. They will showcase technology has made shopping easier, more personalized, and more sustainable.
The Big Future of Shopping Small encourages business owners to consider their position in retail and what they will do to stand out in the future. The initiative features augmented reality technology which powers a virtual boutique that allows different small businesses a section of shelf space. It also contributes to enhancing the products by linking additional text, videos, and online stores to tell the complete brand story. Artificial intelligence will also assist in predicting customer preferences by using bio-metrics. It will also eliminate lines at check-out because payment will be seamless along with easy to complete.
The shopping experience complements a decade of supporting local businesses. Walter Frye, vice-president of global brand management for American Express, said that they are very excited about the venture. He further thanked the audience at the Toast to 10 Years of Small Business Saturday even for joining them in celebrating this important milestone. American Express is one of the first major financial companies to invest in augmented reality. In order too create a unique experience for their customers, they have created this platform. They want to prove that AR technologies can be used in almost every sector of business, not just limited to the entertainment industry.
This pop-up shop is only one of the few ways in which American Express is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The company will also be partnering with Main Street America to give $10,000 grants to 10 small businesses to help them create an innovative environment. The grants are also focused on encouraging small businesses to move away from stagnation and become immersed in what modern technology is offering. This type of grant could open many doors for small businesses that would otherwise have to rely on the local community for support. The application will be available November 30th.
According to studies, about 77% of Americans are interested in spending money at a small business on Small Business Saturday this year. There are many reasons why Americans have decided to take a break from big consumer companies and support local businesses instead. Many feel that they want to keep money in their community by building up the reputation of their neighborhood. A lot of shoppers know someone who works at or owns a small business who would like to support them. Consumers also feel that small business products are made with care thus delivering better quality. Over the last nine years, Americans have spent over $100 million with small businesses, on Small Business Saturday. This event will never be going out of business.