This is an American article, and as we have American clients- we thought we would reproduce it here. However it is also interesting to think about Australian businesses and when locals shop local. In Australia, and probably around the world the trend has been moving to online shopping and back to your local smaller shops. If you need help with e-commerce or your physical store contact us here.
Over half of consumers plan to shop small on Small Business Saturday.
Thanksgiving weekend is fast approaching and after the turkey dinner and football, shopping is one of the holiday weekend’s time-honored traditions. Last year, the National Retail Federation reported nearly 180 Americans shopped over the five-day holiday weekend.
Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday introduced American Express
AXP in 2010. It was designed to help small businesses compete against major retailers, the big boxes and category killers that have steadily and relentlessly siphoned away their customers.
After two years of people’s holiday activities being curtailed the pandemic, they are more than ready to meet their neighbors and friends on Main Street. Small Business Saturday is a great excuse to get out and about.
Not unexpectedly, people’s interest in participating in Small Business Saturday is much stronger this year than last. Over half of shoppers (53%) said they plan to shop local or eat at an independently-owned restaurant during this year’s Small Business Saturday. This is according to a survey among over 1,000 adults conducted Teneo on behalf of Kabbage American Express.
By comparison, only 42% of shoppers surveyed last year expected to engage. That amounted to some 51 million Small Business Saturday shoppers in 2021, according to the NRF. However, it was a steep drop from the 60 million shoppers who participated in Small Business Saturday in 2019.
Shoppers vote with their wallets and they overwhelmingly support small businesses operated their neighbors and friends. Some 79% agreed that small businesses are essential to their communities.
And besides wanting to help keep small businesses afloat, shoppers are drawn to local independent retailers because that’s where they can find unique holiday gifts (73%) not available from big retailers.
Despite negative economic headwinds, with some 66% of those surveyed scaling back holiday shopping this year and consumers expecting to pay more in independent specialty shops, that isn’t holding them back. Some 86% of consumers said they were likely to shop small this holiday season versus just 13% who likely won’t make it.
People crave the real-world connection they get when shopping local. Some two-thirds of consumers said the stories behind small businesses engage them, and over half prefer to seek out small businesses rather than big retailers for holiday purchases.
A counterpoint to Kabbage’s consumer survey was conducted among 550 small business owners (SBO). Overall, they expect a strong holiday season, with 64% believing this year’s holiday sales will be even better than last year.
A strong holiday 2022 will make a real difference for small businesses. The SBOs surveyed reported nearly one-fourth of their annual revenues are made between Black Friday through New Year’s Eve.
And while SBOs have a positive outlook for the remainder of the year, nearly one in four (24%) reported their survival hangs in the balance with the results of the upcoming holiday season determining if their business can survive into next year.
Small Business Saturday, November 26, will be the official kickoff for small businesses’ year-end run. They’ve been challenged throughout the year inflation, the need to raise prices and continuing supply-chain issues.
They’ve also struggled with ongoing difficulties in hiring and retaining optimum staffing levels, critical to providing the enhanced customer service that sets independent retailers apart from big retailers.
Nonetheless, SBOs have high expectations for Small Business Saturday. Over 52% of those surveyed expect it will provide a significant contribution to overall holiday sales and half believe Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever for their business.
“Small businesses understand the criticality of successfully navigating this time of year,” said Brett Sussman, vice president and head of sales & marketing, Kabbage from American Express. “As we approach this holiday season, they’re making the necessary preparations and adjustments to win the holidays.”
This content was originally published here.