The average American already makes a habit of shopping local, spending one-third of their discretionary income at local businesses. In fact, more than a quarter of Americans shop local at least twice weekly. Taken together, these figures prove that your ideal customers are already committed to the concept of shopping small.
So, how do you get them in your business? Step 1 is determining why they shop local in the first place.
Why Americans Shop Local
Americans shop local to support their communities, because they understand that local business employees help fund city services and may donate to local causes. Shoppers also appreciate the high-touch customer service that exists at local businesses and nowhere else. They take comfort in the familiarity of local businesses and the friendly relationships they can build with the staff. And lastly, shoppers trust local businesses over giant corporations to deliver on their promises.
Speak to Their Motivations and Drive Sales
To up your sales, you won’t need to convince anyone of the importance of shopping local. The figures above prove that people already get it. Instead, all you need to do is reinforce the reasons Americans already give for shopping on Main Street:
- Support for the community: Collect donations for a local cause, such as a canned food drive for your town’s food bank or a local school’s music or sports programs
- Excellent service and trustworthiness: Ask happy customers to write an online review as often as you can — you might even motivate them with a freebie or discount
- Familiarity: Learn the names of your regulars and strike up conversation when it feels natural
Whatever your approach, it’s encouraging to know that your neighbors want you to succeed just as much as we do.