It’s no secret that small businesses are on the rise. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 31.7 million small businesses in the United States. What’s more, is that consumers are increasingly choosing to support these businesses. There are many reasons why people are shopping at local small businesses and choosing products that are made or grown locally – here we will explore a few of the most common benefits.
Why Do Consumers Love to Shop Local?
When customers choose to buy from a small, locally owned business, they are actually having a positive impact on their community in several ways. One of the most significant benefits is that buying local strengthens the local economy.
Strong Local Economic Impact
When people spend their money at locally owned businesses, those dollars recirculate within the community far more than they would if they were spent at a large, out-of-town corporation. This recirculation has a direct impact on job growth and retention as well as the overall health of the local economy.
When you purchase goods or services from a small, independent business, more of your money stays in the community. In fact, for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 will stay in the local economy.
Improved Local Job Markets
In addition to supporting the local economy, buying from local businesses creates additional jobs in the community. Small businesses are typically owned by people who live in the same area, so they are more likely to hire other locals. This is in contrast to large businesses, which often bring in workers from outside the community.
Local Businesses are Tied to Community Roots
Small, local, and family business owners often give back to their strong communities in ways that corporate chains cannot or do not. They are usually the first to sponsor Little League teams, donate to food pantries, and support other local causes and charities. Because the employees are also members of the community, these businesses also have a strong company culture, as well.
According to a recent study by Score, 74% of family-owned businesses report having strong values and positive company culture.
Lower Prices with Higher Quality
Another reason people choose to buy from local, independent businesses is that they often times find awesome food and products for lower prices. This is because locally owned businesses have less overhead costs and generally require fewer middlemen than a conventional grocery store or chain retailer. These savings are often passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices.
People also tend to believe that products from local businesses are of superior quality. When businesses are located close to their customers, there is often a better understanding of what those customers want and need. Additionally, because locally owned businesses usually have strong ties to the community, they are more likely to use high-quality local ingredients from farms or farmers markets.
Positive Environmental Impacts
Finally, buying from local businesses often has positive environmental impacts. When goods are produced and transported locally, it reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It also cuts down on packaging waste because customers can purchase what they need in bulk without all of the extra packaging that comes with individual items.
Strategies for Marketing to Local Consumers
Now that we know why consumers love to shop local, let’s explore a few strategies that small businesses can use to market to this growing customer base.
Emphasize the Benefits of Shopping Locally
One way to appeal to local consumers is by emphasizing the benefits of shopping locally that we discussed above. When customers are aware of the positive impact that their purchases have on the community, they are more likely to make a conscious effort to support local businesses. Businesses can also showcase their role in the community and what makes them unique. This could include anything from using local and homegrown ingredients to supporting local charities.
Show Off Your Business’ Positive Impact on the Community
Another way to market to local consumers is by showing them how their purchases make a positive impact on the community. This could be done through marketing campaigns that highlight the businesses’ support of local causes or by showcasing how the business has improved the community.
For example, if a local business has helped to reduce pollution levels in the area, they could share this information with customers and show them how their purchases have made a difference.
Tie Your Business into the Community’s Culture
Finally, businesses can show customers how supporting local businesses impacts and improves a community’s overall character and atmosphere. This could be done through marketing campaigns that focus on the positive aspects of the community or by highlighting how local businesses contribute to the unique culture of the area. For example, if a community is known for its arts and culture scene, businesses could highlight how they support local artists or how they contribute to the community’s creative vibrancy.
Offer Digital Gift Cards, Digital Loyalty Cards, and Digital Discount Cards to Your Consumers
As we move into the digital age, more and more consumers prefer to store their payment methods on their mobile phones. To appeal to these customers, businesses can offer digital gift cards, loyalty cards, and digital coupons that can be purchased and collected on a smart device. This not only makes it easier for customers to support their favorite local businesses, but it also helps businesses to keep track of customer spending and preferences.
By offering digital loyalty cards, you can improve customer loyalty and show your appreciation by offering speciﬁc deals and discounts to your best customers.
You can also use digital gift cards as a marketing tool to attract new customers or reward existing ones.
For example, you could offer a discount on a customer’s ﬁrst purchase when they sign up for your loyalty program, or you could include a digital gift card in a holiday marketing campaign.
By following these strategies, small businesses can tap into the growing market of local consumers and reap the many benefits that come with being a part of the community. If your local business is looking for digital solutions for your discount, loyalty, and gift card programs, DigitalGift can help your business take its targeted marketing efforts to the next level.