Owning a small business is never easy, and over the past two years, that journey was made even more demanding due to the pandemic. From the exponential growth of Amazon and other leading eCommerce giants to the baked-in advantages larger corporations had at their disposal to deal with such an unprecedented event, small businesses had to fight hard just to survive. But one thing consumers made very clear was that they are willing to go the extra mile for locally owned businesses and they will support small businesses for the betterment of the community. Now more than ever for small business owners, the community is their biggest asset.

Nearly 83% of Americans said with similar options, they would choose a local product over one from a national brand, and nearly 84% said they would be willing to spend a bit more money to support a local business. 1

As we prepare for the 2021 holiday season, we thought it would be good to look back at the 2020 holiday season and see who was buying local, as well as why and how. According to a survey of 1,500 Americans conducted by Intuit during last year’s holiday season:

Who Is Buying Local?

  • 70% of consumers supported local businesses by shopping online only or a mix of online and in store2

Why are they Buying Local?

  • 57% of Americans said the main reason for shopping small was to keep money local2
    • 38% said to feel connected with their community2
  • 28% of shoppers buy local for better service2
  • For every $100 spent at a small business, $48 is put back into the local economy3

How are they Buying Local?

  • People who shop in-store at small businesses are mostly over the age of 45 (56%)2
  • Millennials and Gen X consumers are most likely to support local businesses by only shopping online (45%)2

A majority of consumers chose to shop locally in 2020 to keep the money local and to connect with the community. While those are two great benefits to buying local, there are more:

  • Money spent locally goes directly into the community
  • A better customer experience as small business owners usually have fewer customers, which makes each customer more valuable to them
  • Products are often of better quality (fresher, more authentic) and have a wider variety
  • Products can be more accessible locally

As small business owners prepare for the 2021 holiday season, it’s important to remember that consumers know shopping locally has advantages over shopping online or at large department stores. They want to invest in their community by spending money to support local businesses. It’s your job to ensure you give them a better shopping experience in exchange for their commitment.

  1. https://redeggmarketing.com/local-business-consumer-sentiment-study/
  2. https://mint.intuit.com/blog/money-etiquette/buying-local-statistics-survey/
  3. https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/nearly-20-billion-spent-americans-small-business-saturdayr