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Survey: Consumers ‘shopping small’ this holiday season

holiday shoppers
Consumer spending at small businesses is expected to jump by 42% this holiday.

Holiday shoppers are looking to support small businesses.  

Nearly half of consumers expect to do 50% or more of their shopping at small businesses, according to a new Intuit QuickBooks survey commissioned by global financial technology platform Intuit Inc. According to the findings, the majority of consumers are in the giving spirit this year, as 94% of respondents plan to buy gifts this holiday season. 

For many consumers, shopping small will be a priority as they expect to spend roughly $485 at small businesses this season compared to $342 last year. Overall total consumer spending at small businesses is expected to jump by 42% this holiday.

In other findings, 34% of respondents are expecting a holiday bonus and of these, more than two-thirds (69%) say this will encourage them to spend more money at small businesses. Further, nearly three-quarters (70%) of consumers shared that they began saving for their holiday gift shopping in September of this year or earlier.

“Our research shows that consumers want to support small businesses — and plan to spend 42% more with them in total this season compared to last — but there are some key factors that business owners should evaluate in order to maximize their sales and win customers during the holidays,” said Joseph Black, director of product management, commerce, Intuit QuickBooks. “Small businesses are more likely to gain shoppers by providing seamless checkout experiences, automating their manual backend tasks so they can dedicate more time to their customers, and selling online across multiple sales channels to meet shoppers where they are.”

Here are some tips small businesses can implement to optimize sales from the QuickBooks Holiday Shopping Report.

•Offer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Model: Providing flexibility and the appeal of no interest rates for shorter terms, BNPL has the potential to attract new customers and retain loyal ones. Three in five (60%) consumers plan to use BNPL for holiday shopping this year, and demand for this is especially high among younger Gen Z consumers.

•Look to provide seamless checkout experiences: Almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers say they’ll shop more with small businesses who offer contactless or mobile payments.  

•Offer holiday discounts to optimize sales: When possible, small businesses should look to offer special holiday discounts. Ninety-four percent of consumers say they compare prices between small businesses and big retailers, with half saying that finding a better deal at a bigger retailer would make them not buy from a small business.  

•Encourage consumers to support local retailers: The report shows that consumers want to support local small businesses, with almost two-thirds (62%) more likely to shop small if the business is in their community. Remind consumers of your local ties and commitment to high quality and service. One way small businesses can do this is through targeted email and social marketing campaigns.

•Make sure  inventory is available before the busy season: Last year’s earlier-than-ever start to the holiday shopping season is driving consumers to expect more of the same this year. 

 The report reveals that a majority of consumers plan to start shopping in November, and Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) followed by Black Friday (Nov. 24), are the holidays that will drive the most consumer shopping at small businesses. As the holiday shopping season begins to peak, business owners should ensure they have tools in place to easily track their sales and inventory.

 The above findings and more are highlighted in the QuickBooks Holiday Shopping Report.

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