One of the best ways for you to build relationships with your customers is to support a cause both you and they care about. And, if the cause also happens to grow your business, that’s even better. This fall, millions of people around the country will make an extra effort to shop in their local communities on Small Business Saturday. This is a great example of how a well-executed promotion can exceed expectations and rally businesses and consumers around a common cause.
Understandably, the desire to “shop local” has significantly grown in popularity since American Express® launched the one-day event in 2010 to “help the little guy.” It is a cause that is championed by local farmers, artisans, café owners and assorted small businesses. Consumers realize small businesses represent what they view as being authentic and are a boost to the local economy. They hire local residents, stabilize the community and contribute revenue to the city’s tax base.
Promote “Shop Local” Year Around
Today’s “Shop Local” movement is a cause Home Improvement Retailers can heartily support for a variety of economic and customer-centric reasons. In general, customers prefer to purchase products and services from someone they know rather than from a stranger who works in a big box. You can benefit economically from the trend to shop in the community by creating promotions and displaying signage that encourages customers to buy from your store throughout the year. On average, launching a “shop local” campaign can result in a 47% increase in new customers and 55% increase in customer loyalty.
Customers prefer shopping at small, local retailers
In a survey commissioned by UPS and conducted by ComScore*, 93% of the 5.000 consumers surveyed say they prefer shopping at local businesses and small retailers. Here’s why:
- 61% They offer unique products
- 49% I couldn’t find what I needed from traditional sources
- 40% I want to support the community or small businesses 29% I like to try new retailers
- 26% They feature a broader assortment
- 24% They provide innovative shopping experience
*UPS Pulse of the Shopper Survey
Getting the Word Out
Yes, your customers already know your business is in the neighborhood. But, it’s important to engage them on a regular basis and invite them to find out more about your community activities. You’ll also have an opportunity to promote your message “Shop Local, Shop Here.”
- Display “Shop Local, Shop Here” signs in your window and in the store
- Post a story about the history of your business and community events you support on social media and your website
- Join the local Chamber of Commerce to meet other business owners
- Host or promote local events that benefit the community
- Partner with other businesses or organizations
- When you plan to hire new staff, post job openings on social media
Shop Local is an easy sell
There is no downside to promoting “Shop Local” since it can only help grow your business and bring in more customers. So, don’t wait to create a plan, get started today.