Shoppers are buying with intention, turning to small shops and businesses first despite the rising cost of living and a looming recession.
54% of consumers said they are making an effort to shop local with small businesses before larger retailers according to a survey on American consumers conducted by GoTo: a small-business communications and IT support platform. 28% of those surveyed stated that they had successfully shopped at small businesses more often.
41% of Americans said they were willing to spend more at a small business than they would at a larger corporate company. And 3 out of 4 Americans said they would continue to shop small despite broader economic uncertainty.
Another finding from GoTo’s small business report revealed that strong customer support had the most impact on consumers’ decisions to shop small: 46%, according to WWD.
Shopping small aligns closely with young shoppers’ spending habits. According to research from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence’s "Generation Z: Building a Better Normal" report, gen Z consumers are more conservative in their spending habits. 80% agree that spending wisely is more important than earning a lot of money. Shopping, for gen Z, is very personal. 79% want their money to go to a brand they believe in, and 76% want to feel proud of the brands they buy from.
Amazon, which has in past dominated the online retail industry, may be losing some of its grip on sales. According to the US Department of Commerce, brick-and-mortar sales account for 85% of all retail sales in the US. Amazon drives 40% of online sales in the US according to eMarketer, but those profits could disappear by the end of the year according to a statement made by the online retail giant.
Resurrecting Retail: The Future of Business in a Post-Pandemic World author Doug Stephens told Retail Dive that “the very nature of e-commerce has also fundamentally changed.”
“Increasingly, retail is not something that resides on static, boring, search-driven websites (like Amazon.com). It now lives inside interesting, entertaining and engaging content and communities of interest.”
Small business-focused consumer shopping habits closely align with gen Z consumer values of engagement and intentional spending. Changes in broader consumer tendencies will dictate the evolution of retail and brand growth for small and large businesses in the coming years.