Shopper loyalty is helping local independent businesses to compete with the big brands, according to a survey published this month by business lender Everline.
The survey found that 42% of shoppers consider themselves to be loyal to at least three businesses in their local area.
And in some areas – such as Northern Ireland – one in three people shop locally at four businesses or more on a regular basis.
However, the East Midlands did not perform so well in terms of local loyalty, as 24% of residents admitted to having zero local businesses they shop from regularly.
Russell Gould, managing director at Everline, said: “This research confirms the importance of small businesses to local communities, and highlights that they deserve support not just from consumers, but from the government, the wider corporate landscape and the finance industry as well.
“It’s important to enable SMEs to grow their businesses and encourage loyalty, whether that is through hiring skilled people, investing in promotional materials or expanding into new business areas.”
The study looked at some of the ways in which shopper loyalty might be secured – and unsurprisingly, price scored highly, as 51% of consumers said competitive pricing would encourage them to shop locally more often.
But quality also scored well, appearing on the wish lists of 25% of the survey’s respondents, and the same proportion also mentioned special offers and promotions as a way to win their business.