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Why 84% of Customers Trust Local Businesses More

There are nearly 30 million local businesses in America that employ nearly 60 million people. They may call these “small” businesses, but that is half of the workforce in the U.S.

That is why when the BBB recently surveyed 1,000 people about local businesses, we listened. The findings confirmed what we already know working with local businesses nationwide. Customers trust local businesses more than they do big nationwide chains.

Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the survey about local businesses:

“They keep the economy local and help generate healthy community activities and engagement.”

“Local businesses can be more responsive to the varying needs of individual customers. For the most part small business owners take better care of their customers.”

“By helping to keep their profits local, small businesses employ many working people and support local charities and causes.”

Yes, it’s true that more and more people realize the tremendous impact that locally owned businesses have on their towns or communities. But what if you are a small business owner yourself, how can you help your business?

That is where the survey findings come in. In addition to asking about trusting local businesses, the BBB asked specifically why customers preferred to shop local.

Here are the findings of the survey and how you can apply them to your business:

Support Local
Customers want to support local businesses. That is why on small business Saturday over 112 million customers shopped local. So, make sure on your website that customers know you are a locally owned and operated business.

This can be on your home page, your about page, or even a contact form. Just make sure it’s clear that you aren’t another nationwide chain. You know your local market.

There is nothing more convenient than dealing with a local company. And if you know that local customers expect that, go above and beyond to make it easy for them to deal with you. That means everything from providing easy online contact forms, to providing free estimates, and even offering to meet the customer if they have questions.

Customer Service
Do you like waiting on hold for hours waiting to talk to a customer service representative? I didn’t think so. Survey respondents listed customer service as one of the top benefits of dealing with a local business. Instead of getting through to a frustrating nationwide call center, local businesses deal directly with their customers. If you are the owner of a local business, consider putting your name and direct contact information so that your customers have peace of mind when dealing with your business.

Unique Products
Amazon has dominated the local retail space lately. But Etsy has thrived despite pressure from Amazon. Why? They have unique products that Amazon simply cannot match. And while Etsy is not a local business, there are great lessons to learn here.

In many ways, the principles of being unique and standing out are the same way with local businesses. Local companies have unique products and valuable knowledge of local markets that national chains simply cannot compete with.

So, the next time you try to compete with a nationwide chain in your area as a local business, ask yourself whether you are following these four simple rules. After all, it is why customers love to shop local.

Ben Wright

CEO at Risely

Ben is the Founder and CEO of Risely. He founded the company in 2012 after he saw a need in the marketplace for a more personalized delivery of marketing services with a focus on customer service.


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