Retail on the Rise as More Consumers Shop Locally for the Holidays
With the holidays nearly upon us, you may notice more people are out and about browsing their favorite local retail stores. This push to shop locally, combined with the record-breaking holiday sales figures expected this year, is highly likely to cause an unprecedented boost for the companies most affected by the challenges faced by the entire logistics industry in 2020.
In this article, we will take a look at several of the factors that are sure to put a “happy” in retailers’ holidays this year!
More Savings Equals More Gifts
Shoppers’ habits changed in unexpected ways throughout 2020. With most retail locations either shuttered or slowed, frivolous expenditures went down and some money was able to be saved. These frugal trends continued in 2021 leading customers to have more money set aside for holiday gifts and travel. However, just because customers have a larger budget doesn’t mean they aren’t still seeking savings and bargains wherever they can find them.
According to many consumer research studies, consumers are actively making purchasing decisions based on discounts and coupons beyond the standard Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales. This is partly due to how close these traditional sales are to the holidays, as many prefer to get the gift shopping done well in advance. However, those last-minute deals still reel in the procrastinators.
With that in mind, smaller businesses can offer coupons and discounts more frequently which often makes them more appealing throughout the holiday season.
Mom and Pop-Dot Com
During the pandemic and ensuing restrictions on in-person shopping, even the smallest businesses had to convert a lot of their standard procedures to a digital approach in order to survive. Now that the crunch has passed, e-commerce as a whole is still proving itself to be the new model for resiliency in business, especially during the rush of the holidays. The recent boom in online presence for smaller businesses has finally seen the transition of the main street from brick and mortar to a virtual market while maintaining the things that make a mom-and-pop store special.
Another benefit that most small businesses have going for them is they have the potential to be less affected by the backups plaguing ports of entry across the nation. This is especially true for locally crafted goods, which not only provide the store with a reliable stream of products but also employ local artisans, further supporting the community. While people are in no way shying away from the standard retailers, it is becoming clear that the shift toward purchasing from local shops is growing momentum and that shows no sign of slowing this holiday season.
Look In-Store, Order Online
A rather phenomenal hybrid shopping habit that has developed this holiday season is the practice of going into stores and browsing, perhaps making a small purchase, and opting to make larger later purchases online. There is also the option to have items from an online store sent directly to the recipient, removing the hassle of packaging and shipping from your holiday to-do list. With all those deliveries going out from these local retailers the need for drivers is also increasing (as it has been in the logistics space over the past couple of years; Read our recent blog post regarding the need for more truck drivers), once again helping support the community with career opportunities.
While the concept of “shop in-store, buy online” isn’t particularly new (BOPIS is the other side of that method for instance), it has taken on a whole new life in the past 2 years, no longer only applying to the big box stores. The lessons learned in the early dot com era and the widespread adoption of e-commerce in more recent years are now both lending themselves to the benefit of small businesses in every town. This holiday season looks to go a long way in helping small businesses recover and even begin to prosper again in a post-pandemic world!
It’s The Thought That Counts
Other than the relatively newly appointed Saturday after Black Friday being for small businesses, there have been several “grassroots” style movements to encourage more reliance on our local retailers. This serves two purposes, as it supports your community and it also gives you access to unique items that would not be found elsewhere. This entire ideal can even be seen in how more companies are increasingly wanting to participate in more regional ecosystems for a variety of reasons.
Have a Holly, Jolly, Local, Holiday
In a year that is predicted to have the highest holiday spending ever seen, it is good to know it’s not just the big box stores, but the small local businesses that are as unique as we are. With the ability to offer better deals, in some ways sidestep current supply chain concerns, and still having the ease of delivery while supporting the community, shopping locally is more appealing than ever.