iStock, a global source of visual content, today released new data on UK consumer shopping habits, that shows how Brits have changed their purchasing behaviour to support local since the onset of the pandemic.
The research found that almost half of Millennials questioned (49%) believe supporting small and local businesses that are struggling during the pandemic was important. Among those, 42% have actively changed their shopping habits as a result.
In comparison, even though more Baby Boomers (58%) agreed that it was important to support local businesses that are currently struggling, less than a third (30%) have actively changed their behaviour.
While the desire to support local businesses during the pandemic is shared across all age groups, this research demonstrates that UK Millennials are among small businesses’ biggest allies. Millennials are matching their intentions with purchases, to make a positive contribution to the local economy at a time when independent retailers need customer loyalty more than ever before.
Jacqueline Bourke, Head of Creative Insights EMEA for iStock, commented: “These research results further indicate the ground-breaking impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on shopping behaviours. As small businesses navigate lockdown and the impact of Brexit in 2021, it is important they rethink their marketing strategy to capitalise on Millennials’ willingness to support the local economy. Millennials’ values and expectations in terms of convenience should therefore be reflected in small businesses’ branding. Similarly, small businesses should be thinking about how they can convert Baby Boomers’ goodwill into action, encouraging them to become loyal shoppers.”
The research on the UK’s attitude towards small and local businesses was conducted by iStock in partnership with YouGov for the creative insights platform Visual GPS. It surveyed 2,062 consumers across the UK in November 2020, at a time when renewed national restrictions were coming into effect.
Key Findings on Millennial Shopping Habits:
- Among Millennials who said they prefer to shop at small and local businesses, supporting the local economy (77%), a more personalised customer service (29%), and the unique range of products that can’t be found elsewhere (22%) were the top three reasons given
- According to the research, Millennials would spend more with small businesses if they offered more competitive prices (35%), more convenient delivery options (30%) and more payment options (24%). Baby Boomers on the other hand care less about delivery and payment options but more about competitive pricing (41%) or a broader product range (29%).
- Across all generations, UK consumers are around three times more likely to trust small and local shops rather than large retailers, the main reason cited that small businesses care more about their customers than large retailers.