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8 out of 10 consumers want to support SMEs

Eight out of ten consumers are planning to use more independent businesses this year, according a recent survey.

Liberis has produced a survey of consumers’ attitudes towards small businesses.

Out of the 200 consumers who were asked for the reasons they shop small, 58 percent of respondents said it was for convenience, with the second highest reason being to support local business and boost the economy.

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Despite respondents admitting they find smaller businesses more expensive, these findings showcase how an increasing number of consumers are turning away from larger stores to provide support and encourage growth locally.

With 41 percent of those surveyed saying they already shop at a small business at least once a week, a lot of our respondents are actively supporting their local highstreets already.

For 28 percent of respondents, the primary reason why they are continuing to shop with small businesses derives from high product standards and service offerings.

This was closely followed by 27 percent saying customer service was extremely important to them, which underpins the long-standing notion that smaller businesses can provide a better service as they can build stronger relationships with individuals.

The superior quality of customer service provided in smaller outlets certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by consumers.

51 percent of those polled said there is a substantial difference between the customer service offered in small businesses compared to larger stores.

One respondent revealed “smaller stores seem more genuine and go out their way to help you” and another explained “at smaller stores the service is more personal”; indicating smaller businesses must continue to provide a memorable and tailored customer service to stay competitive against bigger brands.

Interestingly, very few respondents considered having an online offering, being a household name or peer recommendations as an influential factor in their decision to support a small business.

However, when asked why consumers shop at larger stores, price was the number one reason, as stated by 47 percent of respondents.

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