According to research by the Leadership Factor* 55 per cent of people shop with independent retailers once a week or more frequently, with 8 per cent shopping with independent retailers every day. One in nine (13 per cent) adults now claim to actively seek to shop with independent retailers, with Londoners most likely to seek out independents at 19 per cent.
Shopping in-store remains the most popular way to shop with independent retailers. Almost half (48%) say proximity to where they live would encourage them to shop with an independent retailer, placing it top of the list.
Recommendations from friends and family come second with 40 per cent, suggesting independent retailers should place a strong focus on collecting and publicising reviews.
In general, views towards independent retailers are positive, with 38 per cent agreeing with the statement ‘independent retailers offer better customer service’ and 23 per cent agreeing that ‘independent retailers offer better quality’.
Just over one in five (22 per cent) also say that the internet makes it easier to shop with independent retailers.
What does this mean for the independent retailer?
At the top of the list is shopping locally and recommendations from friends and family. Which suggests that independent retailers should place a big focus on raising their profile in the local community and asking for referrals from their existing customers. When was the last time you organised a press release in your local newspaper? If public speaking is your strength perhaps you could speak at a local event?
There are many ways to get referrals from your customers friends and family. For example, you could offer your customer a discount if they agree to post a review on your website or on their Facebook page. Whatever method you choose to generate new sales, you may want to consider your local community and word-of-mouth for your next campaign.
*The Leadership Factor on behalf of myHermes polled 2,000 adults in 2016.