PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

1 in 3 Shoppers Wants to Buy Local Products

As retailers look to win customers’ loyalty, PYMNTS Intelligence research finds that buying local goods is a top-of-mind concern for a significant share of consumers.

By the Numbers

consumer preferences

For the recent “Generation Zillennial Report,” PYMNTS Intelligence surveyed more than 3,000 U.S. consumers in April about their spending, finances and lifestyles. The results revealed that, across generations, one in three shoppers sees whether a given business offers locally made or sourced products as very or extremely important when choosing a merchant.

Indeed, this concern ranked above even whether the merchant sold environmentally sustainable brands or products, whether the merchant’s social values align with the shopper’s and whether the merchant is local or owned by a community member.

A Deeper Dive

Many consumers are thoughtful about where and how they shop. PYMNTS Intelligence’s December “B2B and Digital Payments Tracker®,” created in collaboration with American Express, revealed that 72% of consumers reported plans to shop from small businesses online or in person over the holidays, up from 65% in 2022, and 61% of holiday shoppers reported that they intended to shop on Small Business Saturday.

The April “Small Business Week Report” noted that revenues of Main Street small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) had grown by 6% in the past year, while the GDP only grew 5.7%, suggesting that these mom-and-pop businesses are gaining a greater share of consumers’ spending. For context, just two years prior, the nominal GDP’s growth was nearly four times the revenue increases of Main Street SMBs.

The preference for local products among consumers underscores a broader trend toward conscientious shopping habits, which prioritize community support and local economic growth. This shift is evident across generations.

The increasing inclination to support small businesses, highlighted by the growth in Main Street SMB revenues and the popularity of shopping events like Small Business Saturday, reflects a strengthening commitment to local economies. As retailers navigate this evolving landscape, focusing on local offerings could prove key to fostering customer loyalty and driving sustainable growth.