American Express and TikTok Team Up to Launch the Shop Small Accelerator

This year, to further support small businesses during the holiday shopping season, American Express has announced a partnership with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator. The new program is designed to help small business owners reach the next generation of shoppers on Small Business Saturday, with the campaign set to run throughout the holiday shopping season.

For American Express, the partnership with TikTok builds on the ongoing support the company provides to small businesses year-round. The company has shared its goal of driving $100 billion in consumer spending to small businesses from 2021 through 2025.

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In the company’s Small Business Economic Impact study, it was 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. Additionally, 63 percent of small business owners said they want to grow their Gen Z and Millennial customer base this holiday season, and 50 percent agreed that Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever.

Reaching the next generation of shoppers could be the key for many small businesses to thrive. According to 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

Anna Sitar, lifestyle content creator.

Anna Sitar, lifestyle content creator.

Kicking off on Monday, the #ShopSmall Accelerator will offer eligible small business owners the opportunity to earn $100 of TikTok advertising credit and provide access to tools and resources to “think like TikTok creators.” This education includes an online tutorial on how to make a business stand out on TikTok.

“The #ShopSmall Accelerator will help give small merchants the tools they need to reach the next generation of consumers on TikTok, where our [research] found that 67 percent of Gen Z users have shopped from a small business that was displayed on their For You page,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer at American Express. “Shopping small has a significant impact on helping local communities. Last year, consumers reported spending more than $23 [billion] shopping small on Small Business Saturday, and we want to exceed that in 2022.”

“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 percent of TikTok users saying they discovered something on the platform and immediately went out to buy it, according to our Global Retail Path to Purchase Study,” said Sofia Hernandez, global head of business marketing for TikTok. “This holiday season, the TikTok community is ready to #ShopSmall and support small businesses.”

A number of experts, including lifestyle creators Anna Sitar and Sofia Bella, and business owner Brandon Blackwood, will participate in teaching small business owners how to use TikTok as a search engine, leverage sounds, trends, hashtags and communities, and provide a how- to in driving user engagement. Singer and actress Chloe Bailey has also partnered with American Express to create a Shop Small Soundtrack, which TikTok users can add to content on the platform with the goal of helping small businesses get discovered.

Sofia Bella, content creator.

Sofia Bella, content creator.

“TikTok has been an incredible tool for me; I have seen the power that the platform has for creators, especially small businesses,” Bella, teacher and content creator, told WWD. “As small businesses continue to face challenges, TikTok can help them connect with the next generation of consumers. I’m grateful to be part of American Express and TikTok’s #ShopSmall Accelerator as this program will really give businesses the tools they need to create compelling content and make organic connections with new audiences. My Shop Small Accelerator tutorial is all about the different, authentic ways that small business owners can showcase their businesses. I hope to help small business owners across the globe.”

Consumers can find independent retailers across the nation through the company’s Shop Small Map and card members will have access to special Amex offers on the Shop Small Offer Hub online. Throughout the month of November, the American Express TikTok account will continue to support and share content featuring small businesses.

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