A new consumer survey conducted by BIA/Kelsey (along with their research partner Ipsos) is offering new insight into how local shoppers are engaging with local small businesses across the United States. The Consumer Commerce Monitor survey looked at not only how U.S. shoppers find businesses in their local community, but how they engage and conduct transactions with them as well. Overall, the survey found that 94 percent of the consumer respondents have gone online for local shopping purposes within the past 6 months.

One telling statistic that was revealed in the survey is that among those surveyed, 59.5 percent have completed a purchase of local merchandise or services online within the same 6 month time frame. However, at the same time 65.9 percent (or two thirds) of local purchases were conducted in person. Within the survey/study, “local shopping” is specifically designed as shopping for products or services that are located within a 25 mile radius of the consumer’s primary residence.

According to Director of Research at BIA/Kelsey Steve Marshall, the first wave of the survey revealed that local shoppers have been using a wider range of both traditional and digital/mobile channels in order to contact, engage with, and do business with local companies. Based on survey findings, the expectation is that Internet and mobile usage will be strong for such mega shopping days as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Marshall expects that local consumers will use not only mobile and online tools but all the tools at their disposal in hunting for great deals and finding the perfect gifts for friends and family. This includes social media, special promotions, loyalty programs, and more.

BIA/Kelsey will release more extensive findings and business insight from the “Consumer Commerce Monitor” survey on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in a free online webinar. Topics to be discussed include whether the majority of local purchases are made online or in-store, the specific devices that consumers use when going online for local shopping, and the purchasing rate of local consumers as a result of promotions and discount offers.


Reitzin, Jared. “Local Consumers Going Mobile and Flexing Multi-Channel Muscle.” Mobile Marketing Watch. 10/23/13.