How many times have you went to the mall and shopped at the big-name retail stores and left feeling empty? This is probably a question you never even paid attention to when you go shopping because when you go to big shopping locations like the mall, you don’t really have any expectations… the only expectation you have is that you’re either going to find what you’re looking for or you’re not; nothing more, nothing less.
That is the mindset most consumers have when they go shopping but when you’re a business owner, whether the business is big or small, isn’t the number one goal to deliver a great shopping experience for all customers? If it isn’t, it should be but that’s not the case for lots of big businesses and believe it or not, the reason a lot of customers stop shopping at certain businesses is due to not having a good shopping experience in a particular store.
Here recently, there has been a huge surge of small businesses opening up, which has taken lots of business away from the large, impersonal, big-name retailers. When this happens, it's called shopping locally, which is something communities need to see more of. Shopping locally applies to all facets of shopping too, it’s not just for food or clothing but it includes furniture, pharmacies, and restaurants too!
People get so caught up in the big-name brands that they forget to see the beauty right in their own neighborhood. Take a look at the top 4 benefits of how shopping locally benefits you and your community.
1. You Improve the Local Economy
Did you know that when you shop locally, most of that money stays within the community? According to the American Independent Business Alliance, around 48% of purchases made at local independent businesses was recirculated within the community. So to put it into easier terms, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 of that remained in the city… if that isn’t showing true support of your community and city, nothing is.
2. The Service is More Personalized
When you shop locally, that means that the owner typically lives in the community as well. The owners gets to know the customers and have a better understanding of their wants and needs, making it easier to tailor their service and make the customer’s experience even better.
For example, a customer might have come into a local garden shop a while back and mentioned that they’ve been having a pest control issue in their garden. Well, that garden shop owner could have remembered that customer’s issue and order the newest product on the market to help with pest control and offer it to that customer the next time they came in.
Sure, there are benefits of shopping at traditional retail locations but it’s the personalized experience that make customers continue to shop locally.
3. Your Community Will Be More Unique
You know how you can visit a city and feel its “vibe?” Well, part of a city’s vibe comes from the local shops and boutiques located within the city. Whether you live within the community or are visiting a particular community, you can feel the uniqueness of that city immediately.
Clothing boutique owners know firsthand the importance of being unique. They understand that when people shop in their boutique, they want pieces that they know people won’t be able to find online or at any other big-name retailers. One way boutique owners set themselves apart from their big-name competitors is how they label their clothes.
To give their clothes a unique flare, they look to companies like Wunderlabel to customize their clothing labels and swing tags. Their ultimate goal is to make their customers feel confident and proud to wear their label… no one wants to be caught wearing the same outfit that 20 other people have in their closet and that’s something you won’t have to worry about when you shop locally.
4. You Know the People Behind the Brand and Product
When you know the people behind the label, it just makes shopping at their establishment a more enjoyable experience and you make a connection that you would not experience at a big name company. There’s a personal investment involved here. You want to celebrate with them when they have successes and you want to mourn with them when they have failures.
This might sound “too involved” for those who don’t shop locally but when you shop locally, you’re really creating a band of support within your community… almost like family. When a big-name store shuts down, nobody cares or even feels bad… in their minds, they’re just trying to think of where else they can shop to get the same things they purchased at the store before it shut down. The people behind businesses are people just like everyone else trying to make a living and provide for their families and local consumers realize and understand that… that’s why they continue to shop locally and you should too.