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Bankrate Survey: More People Plan to Shop Small in Stores

Small Business Saturday
Photo credit: DimaBerlin - stock.adobe.com

Despite its inception only in 2010, Small Business Saturday has surged in popularity and is creating even more opportunities for small and local businesses to thrive. This year, 61% of consumers plan to shop on Small Business Saturday, according to Bankrate data, slightly higher than the number of shoppers likely to shop on Black Friday (56%).

Over the course of the holiday season, 72% of consumers plan to buy from small businesses, a notable increase from last year (65%). Although consumers broadly are eager to support their local small businesses, certain generations are more likely to participate:

  • Millennials (72%)
  • Gen Z (69%)
  • Gen X (59%)
  • Baby Boomers (51%)

Consumers Plan to Take a ‘Hybrid Approach’ to Holiday Shopping

Many holiday-centric headlines have focused on growth predictions for ecommerce. However, the Bankrate survey found that consumers plan to take an omnichannel approach, with stores poised to see an increase in traffic year over year.

In 2022, 67% of consumers reported that they planned to shop in person during the holiday season. This year, that amount has increased to 72%. While shopping with small businesses specifically, 51% of consumers said they preferred to shop in a brick-and-mortar store, and 44% said they would shop small online via marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. These results confirm that small businesses should continue to invest in the unique value of venturing into their stores, whether it be for great service, unique access to products, giveaways or even a fun hot cocoa and cookie “happy hour.” However, that doesn’t mean they should ignore the power of digital. Consider how you can ramp up your presence on seller marketplaces, or try to use your social media presence to drive digital brand awareness and engagement.

Why Shop Small? Unique Gift Ideas and Quality Service Lead

Sure, some consumers may shop small because of the “warm-and-fuzzy feeling” they get supporting a local business, especially if they know the owners well. But the Bankrate survey uncovered clear differentiators for smaller brands and businesses. Most shoppers feel that small businesses provide a better experience in these areas:

  • Unique gift ideas (56%)
  • Better customer service (54%)
  • Fostering a sense of community (44%)

However, there are other areas where small businesses can stand out this holiday season. For example, 29% of consumers said small businesses have extremely detailed product knowledge. Be sure your associates are trained on the latest and greatest products, gift recommendations and more to ensure your shoppers feel seen and supported during this critical time of year.

Bankrate Survey: More People Plan to Shop Small in Stores

by | Nov 14, 2023

Small Business Saturday

Despite its inception only in 2010, Small Business Saturday has surged in popularity and is creating even more opportunities for small and local businesses to thrive. This year, 61% of consumers plan to shop on Small Business Saturday, according to Bankrate data, slightly higher than the number of shoppers likely to shop on Black Friday (56%).

Over the course of the holiday season, 72% of consumers plan to buy from small businesses, a notable increase from last year (65%). Although consumers broadly are eager to support their local small businesses, certain generations are more likely to participate:

  • Millennials (72%)
  • Gen Z (69%)
  • Gen X (59%)
  • Baby Boomers (51%)

Consumers Plan to Take a ‘Hybrid Approach’ to Holiday Shopping

Many holiday-centric headlines have focused on growth predictions for ecommerce. However, the Bankrate survey found that consumers plan to take an omnichannel approach, with stores poised to see an increase in traffic year over year.

In 2022, 67% of consumers reported that they planned to shop in person during the holiday season. This year, that amount has increased to 72%. While shopping with small businesses specifically, 51% of consumers said they preferred to shop in a brick-and-mortar store, and 44% said they would shop small online via marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. These results confirm that small businesses should continue to invest in the unique value of venturing into their stores, whether it be for great service, unique access to products, giveaways or even a fun hot cocoa and cookie “happy hour.” However, that doesn’t mean they should ignore the power of digital. Consider how you can ramp up your presence on seller marketplaces, or try to use your social media presence to drive digital brand awareness and engagement.

Why Shop Small? Unique Gift Ideas and Quality Service Lead

Sure, some consumers may shop small because of the “warm-and-fuzzy feeling” they get supporting a local business, especially if they know the owners well. But the Bankrate survey uncovered clear differentiators for smaller brands and businesses. Most shoppers feel that small businesses provide a better experience in these areas:

  • Unique gift ideas (56%)
  • Better customer service (54%)
  • Fostering a sense of community (44%)

However, there are other areas where small businesses can stand out this holiday season. For example, 29% of consumers said small businesses have extremely detailed product knowledge. Be sure your associates are trained on the latest and greatest products, gift recommendations and more to ensure your shoppers feel seen and supported during this critical time of year.