By Joseph Staples // SWNS
The next trend in New Year’s resolutions will have you ditching big-box stores: a majority of Americans want to support more small businesses in the upcoming year.
A survey of 2,000 general population Americans found since the pandemic began in March 2020, 76% have made it a point to support local, small businesses.
The average person has regularly shopped with four small businesses outside of the food and beverage industry within the past year.
Three in five people believe small businesses have advantages over larger big-box stores.
Seven in 10 said they’ve been able to find items at small businesses that they struggle to find in larger stores--particularly homemade goods (55%), fashion items and jewelry (40%), toys (36%), wellness products (36%) and books (33%).
Commissioned by GoDaddy and conducted by OnePoll, the survey revealed both Gen-Z (54%) and Millennial (60%) generations couldn’t care less about stepping foot in a large chain store ever again.
Meanwhile, less than half of Gen-X (42%) and only 18% of Boomers said not going into a big-box store was their goal for the next year.
The things respondents find the most appealing about small businesses are having interesting items for sale (49%) and the store’s atmosphere (44%).
However, many people believe small businesses have a long way to go. Twenty-nine percent said the biggest hurdle they have when shopping small is dealing with limited hours.
Likewise, 20% said they struggle to find new small businesses and 18% dislike dealing with shipping costs when shopping from small stores online.
Respondents have seen many small businesses struggle throughout the pandemic, while seeing how others remained resilient by keeping up with the times.
Consumers appreciated how small, local shops innovated during the pandemic by including curbside pickup options (41%), contactless payment options (41%) and having an online store (36%).
Four in five Millennials (82%) said they are more likely to purchase from a small business where they can place their order for delivery or pick up, while a majority of Boomers surveyed (52%) would not.
“There’s no questioning the benefits of shopping local,” says Melissa Schneider, VP of marketing & global operations at GoDaddy. “Not only are you supporting someone who is passionate about what they do, but there is also a sense of care and convenience that oftentimes can’t be seen in bigger chain stores.”
While 63% feel more confident about the things they buy from local businesses, 61% will still shop from big-box competitors if what they need or are looking for can’t be found.
Meanwhile, 68% would shop more from small businesses if they had the option to purchase items online.
“Offering your goods or services online is the best way to keep people coming in through the doors; which might seem counterintuitive at first, but it really acts as a superpower,” continues Schneider. “Having an online storefront or online payment options, along with offering contactless payment options in-person, are all critical to consumers today.”
WHAT DO LOCAL SHOPPERS WANT POST-PANDEMIC?
Contactless payment options 37%
Curbside pickup 37%
Online stores 37%
Virtual/digital loyalty cards 30%
Mobile apps 30%
Ordering ahead online 26%
QR code menus 23%