Benefits of shopping local, putting money into the community
SHOPPING small is good for our community, our economy and our emotions.
The findings of The Economy of Shopping Small Report come as no surprise to Rockhampton retailers Kerry and David Peel.
The recent American Express-commissioned survey looks at the shopping habits of 1000 Australian consumers and the sales habits of 700 small businesses.
The report underpins the month-long Shop Small campaign that encourages the region's residents to spend more money at local businesses in November.
The research shows that 54% of shoppers reckon they become strongly attached to local small businesses when people behind the counter go out of their way to build an emotional connection with them.
The value of a smile also goes a long way with 42% of shoppers saying a happy face will inspire them to continue supporting family-owned businesses even if there is a 10% price rise.
Mr and Ms Peel pride themselves on the way they and their Phil Peel Leading Edge Jeweller employees interact with shoppers.
"Many customers know that they will be greeted not only by a friendly smile, but more often than not a greeting by name," Ms Peel says.
"For our newer staff, we provide training to help them become comfortable in greeting everyone who walks through the door with a smile and an acknowledgment."
More than 90% of owners know the names of their regular customers and 80% take an active interest in their personal lives.
"As our business often involves an emotional purchase, we really get a buzz when people come up to us to tell their story," Ms Peel says.
"It could be that their parents bought something from us 30 years ago, that they bought their wedding rings at our store and are celebrating 20 years married or that a gift that someone bought holds a special place."
Ms Peel says taking the time to know what makes a customer tick will pay dividends in the long run.
"We are very lucky to be in an environment where people are usually celebrating something when they come in to our store, so for us, the emotional connection is extremely important," she says.
The report says 62% of shoppers believed their local small shops gave their community a charm that major retailers could never hope to replicate.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 54% of consumers agree that small businesses provide positive emotional value, breeding feelings of attachment
- 62% say small businesses give the community its identity and its charm.
- 99% of small business owners say they welcome their customers with a smile.
- 94% of owners personally thank their customers.
- 90% of owners know the names of all regular customers.
- 80% of owners actively take an interest in their personal lives.
Source: The Economy of Shopping Small Report