Why ‘Shop Small…Shop Local’ is the Big Story in Town

Posted: June 15, 2021
Category: Spotlight on Business

One of the best ways for you to build relationships with your customers is to support a cause both you and they can wrap your arms around.

And, if the reason also happens to grow your business, that’s even better. For example, due to the challenges faced by small businesses, millions of people around the country are making an extra effort to support small local businesses and shop in their communities. This highly-publicized national effort is an excellent example of rallying businesses and consumers around a common cause.

Understandably, the desire to “shop local” has significantly grown in popularity since American Express launched a one-day event in 2010 to “help the little guy.” It is a cause championed by local farmers, artisans, café owners, and various small businesses. Consumers realize small companies represent what they view as authentic and boost the local economy. In addition, these organizations hire residents, stabilize the community and contribute revenue to the city’s tax base.

Small Is the Next Big Story at Retail

“Shoppers will return to Main Street. This trend is fueled by the desire of the highest-potential and highest-spending customers’ passion for a new shopping experience that they can’t find online, at the mall, in the national chains, or big box stores. Owners of small retail shops often feel overwhelmed by the rapidly changing retail environment, with competition on all sides and most especially from Amazon. But small business retailers have a competitive advantage that none of these bigger, better capitalized, and techno-powered retailers have–their personal touch. It is realized not just through the personal service that specialty retailers offer but by being vital members of the local community. This trend will reshape the retail landscape over the next decade.”

– Pamela Danziger, president, Unity Marketing

Promote “Shop Local” Year Around

Today’s “Shop Local” movement is a cause Home Improvement Retailers can heartily support for various economic and customer-centric reasons. In general, customers prefer to purchase products and services from someone they know rather than from a stranger who works in a big box. In addition, you can benefit economically from the trend to shop in the community by creating promotions and displaying signage that encourages customers to buy from your store throughout the year. On average, launching a “shop local” campaign can result in a 47% increase in new customers and 55% increase in customer loyalty.


Customers prefer shopping at small, local retailers

In a survey commissioned by UPS and conducted by ComScore*, 93% of the 5.000 consumers surveyed say they prefer shopping at local businesses and small retailers. Here’s why:

  • 61% They offer unique products
  • 49% I couldn’t find what I needed from traditional sources
  • 40% I want to support the community or small businesses 29% I like to try new retailers
  • 26% They feature a broader assortment
  • 24% They provide an innovative shopping experience

Getting the Word Out

Yes, your customers already know your business is in the neighborhood. But, it’s essential to engage them regularly and invite them to find out more about your community activities. You’ll also have an opportunity to promote your message “Shop Local, Shop Here.”

  • Display “Shop Local, Shop Here” signs in your window and in the store
  • Post a story about the history of your business and community events you support on social media and your website
  • Join the local Chamber of Commerce to meet other business owners
  • Host or promote local events that benefit the community
  • Partner with other businesses or organizations
  • When you plan to hire new staff, post job openings on social media

Shop Local is an easy sell

There is no downside to promoting “Shop Local” since it can only help grow your business and bring in more customers. So, don’t wait to create a plan. Get started today.