More customers turn to local small businesses for their holiday shopping than you might realize. Why? It's not just because these companies are nearby; it's because consumers want to support local businesses.
In fact, 65 percent of consumers plan to complete up to 75 percent of their holiday shopping in-store at a local small business, according to new research from digital marketing solutions firm G/O Digital. Only 1 percent of respondents said they would be not be completing any of their holiday shopping at local small businesses.
And consumers' reasons for shopping local are great news for small business owners. These were the top three reasons consumers gave for why they would buy holiday gifts in-store from a local small business instead of a national brand:
- Thirty-seven percent said they want to support local businesses and contribute to those companies' economic growth.
- Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) said they can find unique products and services at local businesses that cannot be found elsewhere.
- Twenty-two percent said the prices are more affordable at local businesses.
Some respondents also said that the quality and selection of merchandise is better, and the customer service is friendlier and more helpful at local stores. [Holiday Shopping? 5 Ways to Prepare Your Website Now ]
However, while many consumers plan to shop at local stores, the vast majority of customers check online first. According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents use an online channel first before purchasing holiday gifts in-store from a local business, and 73 percent of those customers use Google to research gifts from local retailers.
The good news is, while many shoppers search for certain products nearby, 36 percent said they actually look up businesses by name to find the products they're looking for. The most important thing they search for? Prices (46 percent).
And if you think it's already too late to start marketing for the holidays, don't worry. According to the findings, 50 percent of consumers plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping in the three weeks leading up to Christmas, so there's still time.
The study, which received 1,023 responses, surveyed U.S. adults ages 35 to 54 who expressed interest in shopping locally and owned at least one desktop or laptop computer and a smartphone or tablet.
Originally published on Business News Daily.