Recently, independent marketing performance specialist Ebiquity conducted a survey of 1,999 male and female consumers 18 years of age and older: the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. Among other things, this survey looked at consumer small business shopping trends, particularly at how consumers felt going into this holiday season. Here are some of the main points covered in the survey results.

  • Almost all of U.S. consumers (94 percent) surveyed reported that shopping at small businesses was a “feel good” experience for them. Since part of modern consumerism involves the emotional experience of the consumer, this is a positive sign for small businesses. One takeaway from this statistic is that it is in the best interest of small businesses to maximize this and work to make their brick and mortar shopping experiences as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. This involves making retail stores as welcoming and as comfortable as possible, and delivering exceptional customer service. It may be a worthwhile investment to add additional help, particularly around busy seasons, to maintain that level of customer service excellence and general approachability.
  • Of those surveyed, on average consumers estimated that nearly one-third (31 percent) of their holiday shopping would be done at small business establishments. This bodes well in terms of small business share for the holiday shopping season. One way to attract even more consumers into small retail businesses is to emphasize via marketing that every dollar spent at a local store will benefit the community.
  • A majority of consumers (two-thirds, or 66 percent) reported that the main reason they were driven to patronize small businesses was that they found value in the contributions those businesses made to the community as a whole. The fact that most small business remain so active in their community is enough to forge a personal connection with local residents. Small business owners are encouraged to capitalize on this by emphasizing community ties in marketing and social media efforts.
  • More than half (or 57 percent) reported that they knew one or more of their local small business owners on a personal basis. Personal relationships continue to be a major advantage had by small businesses over their larger corporate counterparts. When business owners forge relationships with those they live and work around, this can only help their business success in the long term.


McCray, Becky. “Survey Says: Shopping at Small Businesses Make People Feel Good.” Small Biz Survival: The Small Town and Rural Business Resource. 12/10/14.

NFIB/American Express Research. “Small Businesses Ready to Help Drive Holiday Sales as Small Business Saturday Commemorates Fifth Year.” Business Wire. 11/19/14.