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Survey: Consumers Keen to Shop Small Businesses for Holidays

Three-quarters of U.S. consumers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping with small businesses, according to a new survey on consumer shopping trends by e-commerce powerhouse Vistaprint. Plus, nearly 27% of shoppers say they plan to visit small businesses more frequently in 2018, compared to 2017.

The survey highlighted the importance of small businesses in the American psyche, with 46% of those polled saying that shopping at small businesses was very important to them. Only around 5% of respondents said it wasn’t important to support small business.

Vistaprint’s shopping report also shared significant insights into what U.S. consumers like to see, when it comes to small businesses. For example, friendly, in-person customer service is very important. Nearly 70% of respondents say they want to shop at a store more often if the owner can identify them by name. Meanwhile, 60% of those surveyed say they prefer to shop and interact with a small business in a brick-and-mortar location rather than online.

Though in-store shopping is preferable, U.S. consumers do expect small businesses to have an online presence, but it’s more important that the store have a dedicated website than it is that they are active on social media. About 67% of those surveyed say it’s at least somewhat important that a small business have a website. When it comes to social media, nearly a third of respondents are indifferent to whether a small business uses social media; only about 15% say it’s very important that small businesses have an active presence on social media.

Vistaprint conducted its survey with 1,504 adult consumers in the U.S., with the results weighted against the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, which Vistaprint says helped provide an accurate representation of the population as a whole.