Do Consumers Prefer To Shop Locally?

As I started this project I wanted to researched if consumers actually prefer to shop locally if not then developing this website and concept further and the idea that consumers would use this website could be thought as negative and not productive.

Although in some cases we are being led to believe that online shopping is more convenient I have found through this research that consumers do still prefer to shop locally and have the hands on approach when making purchases.  “Most consumers would generally prefer to shop and buy from local/small businesses but they also want those businesses to be digitally savvy” this is according to a survey by Yodel.  This was also the case in a survey by A.T. Kearney Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study, it was found that out of a survey of 2500 shoppers “Ninety percent of shoppers surveyed would prefer to buy in a brick-and-mortar store”.

Through my research these are the reasons listed below why consumers prefer to shop locally:

Convenience

Convenience is a major factor although Amazon and some stores now have next day delivery either to a home address or a store in our busy lives it maybe more convenient to actually visit the store and purchase the item.

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(While – 1 in 4 shoppers say they’ll steer clear of a nearby store altogether to avoid the risk of items not being available)

The report by Yodel list the Top 10 Reasons to use a local business and the Top 10 Reasons to avoid a local business:

Top 10 Reasons to use a local business:

  1. Quality of Work
  2. Reliable
  3. Trustworthy
  4. Convenient to where I live/work
  5. Loyalty – I’ve used them a long time
  6. Recommended by friends/family
  7. Competitive Pricing
  8. Personal relationship owner/staff
  9. Customer service overall
  10. Reputable in my community

Top 10 Reasons to avoid a local business:

  1. Quality of work declines
  2. Pricing increases significantly
  3. Not being treated fairly
  4. Customer service overall declines
  5. Location no longer convenient
  6. Owner/staff change
  7. Billing issues/dispute
  8. Appointments not available
  9. Deterioration in cleanliness/facilities
  10. Poor experiences by friends/family

While more widely available local information can motivate store visits it is clear consumers do still prefer to shop locally having local retail and product information available to consumers is key in revitalising local retail businesses and high streets. (Local Information Can Motivate Store Visits)

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Once in store digital it is clear consumers are using their smartphones by tapping into this technology retailers can transform the in-store experience of their customers.  (How Consumers Are Using Their Smartphones in Stores)

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While my above research suggests why consumers prefer to shop locally I looked at what actually puts consumers shopping online.  I found that not all consumers prefer purchasing online for many reasons.  One major concern when shopping online is security, how secure is their payment information, is it a secure website to enter your payment details.  A recent report below by Mintel Group Ltd highlighted some of the reasons why people are put off purchasing online:

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