Here’s Why Americans Love Shopping Small

It’s no secret that small businesses are vital to our communities and are commonly referred to as “the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.” If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it displayed how vital small businesses are to communities and how important it is to continue to support these industries.

In honor of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26, GOBankingRates recently surveyed over 1,000 Americans across the country to get the scoop on why they love shopping small and what attracts them to supporting a local spot instead of a chain or big-box store. To take a closer look at why people enjoy supporting small businesses, let’s see the data.

54% of Americans Say They Shop at a Small Business Due to the Customer Service

Shopping at a small business often provides a very different experience than shopping at a chain or big-box store. You probably know of someone who has had a terrible customer service experience at a major retailer or have experienced one yourself. With many chains prioritizing maximum efficiency over quality customer service, more shoppers are inclined to bring their business elsewhere.

A 2019 survey conducted by Forbes found that 74% of customers are willing to spend more money for a better customer experience. In our survey, we found that over 50% of Americans choose to shop small because of the customer service they receive. Americans are prioritizing having the best shopping experience they possibly can and are willing to pay a little bit more for that.

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53% of Americans Say They Value a More Personal Relationship

As more retailers turn to automated processes to streamline their customer assistance, more customers are feeling the effects of the lack of personal connection. According to the Forbes survey, younger millennials are especially demanding of instant conflict resolution through personalized interactions. Of those ages 25 to 34, 75% expect personalized communication from retailers. This generation is feeling the strain of the digitized age and prioritizing supporting small businesses to regain that more personalized feel.

According to our survey, 53% of Americans choose to shop at small businesses due to more personal relationships.

64% of Americans Say They Shop Small To Support Their Local Community

An impressive 64% of Americans choose to shop at a small business in order to show support to their community. Shopping local doesn’t only allow you to help the businesses you love, it also allows you to support other small businesses in your community.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, when you spend $100 at your local small business, $48 stay in the community. However, if you spend the same amount at a big-box store, only $14 stay. More money stays in the community when shopping small because small businesses rely on other small businesses, keeping the money local.

31% of Americans Say They Shop Small Because the Business’ Values Align With Their Own

Choosing where to shop is not an easy decision. There are many factors to consider, such as the amount of gas it takes to get somewhere, the quality of the products the store offers and how much you are willing to spend during the shopping trip.

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Our survey showcased that 31% of Americans enjoy shopping at a small business because the values of the business align with their own. Americans love shopping small because there are endless businesses out there that cater to the different values of shoppers, from businesses that offset their carbon emissions or a small business that supports local athletic events.

Be sure to explore your community’s small businesses to determine what shops near you align with your values.

41% of Americans Shop Small Due to More Unique Offerings

Whether you are looking for the spiciest pickle in your city or the creamiest gelato you can find, there is a small business for every niche market. In our survey, we discovered that 41% of Americans like shopping small due to the one-of-a-kind offerings these businesses have.

Small businesses have more freedom and opportunities to try different things to cater to the community around them, allowing you to find unique products you won’t see in a big-box store.

23% of Americans Shop Small Due to More Sustainable Business Practices

Small businesses feature more sustainable business practices than large corporations due to commonly having fewer employees and a lower turnover rate compared to big businesses.

With more consumers demanding and calling for greener business practices, small businesses are hopping on the bandwagon and offering their customers a greener shopping experience. Many of these industries prioritize reducing their carbon footprint by utilizing alternative energy and sourcing their products from other local small businesses with sustainable practices to cultivate a greener production process altogether.

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