Amazon and other leading e-commerce giants have transformed the shopping experience in recent years. Simple one-click purchases and same-day delivery are what 80 percent of shoppers are looking for when shopping now. That relief earned Amazon $ 96.15 billion in annual sales through September 2020 – while the COVID-19 pandemic continued. Year-round home orders and small business support needs increased as large ecommerce sites took center stage. We set out to understand buying local stats to see who is buying locally and why and how they are doing it.
Small businesses were hit hard in 2020. Due to COVID-19, many shoppers chose to order online and same day delivery – things that most small businesses couldn't achieve. As a result, small business sales declined and in some countries up to 50 percent of stores closed.
For the remaining local businesses, the overwhelming consumer support definitely helped. Just over 82 percent of consumers say they will spend more on helping local businesses after the pandemic. To find out where vacation budgets were being spent this season, we went straight to the source.
We surveyed 1,500 Americans and found:
70 percent of consumers support local businesses by only shopping online or a mixture of online and in-store.
57 percent of Americans say their number one reason for making small purchases is to keep the money on the ground.
Additionally, 38 percent of shoppers say they want to support their community and local developers.
28 percent of shoppers buy local products for better service and 19 percent to help local nonprofits.
Millennial and Gen X consumers are most likely to support local businesses by only shopping online (45 percent).
People who shop in-store in small businesses are mostly over 45 years old (56 percent).
Additional purchase of local statistics:
One in five consumers focused on small business purchasing in winter 2020.
In 2019, shoppers' spending in small business instead of department stores increased by 3 million.
Small business Saturday in 2020 saw $ 12.9 billion spent, down 65 percent from 2019 ($ 20 billion).
A third of shoppers in 2020 bought more gift cards from small businesses.
For every $ 100 spent in small businesses, $ 48 goes back into the local economy.
Small business online sales grew 18 percent from 2018 to 2019.
77 percent of shoppers admit they'd love to wear face masks when shopping in local stores.
20 percent of small businesses in the US are also building e-commerce businesses.
Despite the pandemic, 55% of Americans made purchases in the store
Even with social distancing recommendations and staying home orders, more than half of shoppers shop in store to support local businesses. According to UNCTAD, these purchases included personal care products, digital entertainment, groceries, fashion and health items. Shoppers who chose online checkouts over in-person experiences were mostly made by Millennials and Gen Xers.
Despite the overwhelming support from local buyers, small businesses struggled in 2020. The U.S. census showed that education services, healthcare, arts, entertainment, catering and other public administrations faced trouble months after the pandemic broke out. Without the ability to conveniently dine out, attend school in person, or enjoy indoor gatherings, it is harder to sign up for industries that require a personal visit.
The majority of consumers shop small to keep the money locally
Our survey found that 57 percent of local consumers shop to keep money close to their home, and 38 percent of consumers help local businesses feel more connected to their community. According to Fundera, 108 million customers spent over $ 12.9 billion on Small Business Saturday 2020 (up from $ 20 billion in 2019).
Regardless of what happens in 2020, 28 percent of people think the economy is “good”. However, 75 percent of companies said that COVID-19 is having a negative impact on their business.
Why shop locally? 5 Benefits of Supporting Small Businesses
The “why” behind purchasing on-site can vary between consumers. Some buyers may want to keep money on-site. others may be looking to connect with their community. Read below or check out our family-friendly downloadable printables to see the benefits of helping local business owners.
1. Purchases help your community
Money that you spend locally goes directly to your community. Every dollar you spend is invested in the company and those who run it. In other words, you are helping locals keep their jobs, create more jobs, and invest in other local community initiatives. To take your mindful money practices to the next level, consider supporting local businesses the next time you need beauty products, groceries, or a new closet.
2. Local businesses can be more sustainable
When small businesses partner with other small businesses, there may be opportunities to reduce packaging, overall waste, and travel emissions. For example, local grocery stores can stock products from local farms, thereby reducing transportation costs, travel emissions, and packaging used to transport each product. As a result, your locally invested money could help the earth and your wallet.
3. Customer experience is the priority
Big box stores have more employees, customers, and issues to deal with every day – while local shopkeepers may not. Small business owners typically have fewer customers, which makes those who shop from them more valuable. Everyone who comes into the store becomes their top priority. If you have any questions or concerns about any product or service, you can likely get in touch with the owner faster than a big box customer service representative.
4. Fresher (and more unique) products and products
You can find a wide variety of items in local stores that you won't find anywhere else. When it comes to grocery shopping, you will likely find local products in smaller stores. You can enjoy eating fresher produce while supporting multiple small businesses at the same time. For example, your weekly groceries may be fresher at your local farmers market than in a department store.
5. You give a face to the Creator
In most cases, small shopkeepers spend most of their time in person with their customers. You are more likely to interact with the owner than with the CEO of an established company. This means you have a better chance of connecting with your community and knowing exactly who you are supporting.
Download and fill out our shopping checklist to make sure you are on budget. Write down every item you might need in your local small business. Go through the list when shopping and tick each item when purchasing.
Shopping locally can be more beneficial than shopping online or in department stores. Money invested in small businesses supports your community. To make your money more meaningful than budgeting and spending on essentials, invest it locally. Supporting local businesses can help your community through difficult times and provide you with a better shopping experience on the go.
This study consisted of a survey carried out using Google Surveys. The sample consisted of no fewer than 1,500 completed answers per question. Stratification weighting was used to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. This survey was conducted in December 2020.
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