Tidbits from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, and what they mean for small town retail businesses:
- Nearly all (94%) U.S. consumers say that shopping at small businesses makes them “feel good.”
That’s good news for small town retail businesses. It’s up to us to reinforce the good feelings by making the shopping experience itself even more enjoyable. We’re the opposite of the mall crowded full of rude people. We’re comfortable, friendly, helpful and welcoming. Make sure you deliver on those promises. Add some extra help during the holidays, and work with all your help to maintain the friendly spirit of customer service.
- On average, shoppers estimate nearly one-third (31%) of their holiday shopping will be done at small businesses.
If we can encourage our local residents to shift just a bit more of their shopping to local businesses, imagine the difference that will make. Don’t try to guilt people into thinking they have to buy everything locally; they’ll feel it’s impossible and they’ll give up. Instead, emphasize that every dollar shifted to a local store benefits the community.
- Two-thirds (66%) of consumers say the main reason they patronize small businesses is because they value the contributions they make to their community.
Since that’s the biggest driver, let’s spend more time sharing the stories of how we contribute to the community. Talk about your causes, mention how your people volunteer, tell the stories of people and projects you support. Mention them in ads, in emails, on social media, in signs in your store. Post their pictures online and in your store. Include them in ads and social network updates.
About the Survey
The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,999 males and females 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study was conducted anonymously by independent marketing performance specialist Ebiquity on October 20-30, 2014. The survey has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.2%, at the 95% level of confidence.
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.