Why do people choose to shop locally? More than 85 percent of people surveyed by Facebook IQ, the social network’s research arm, cited trust and security as their main motivation.
Facebook IQ commissioned a survey of more than 6,000 local businesses and over 10,000 people in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Canada by third-party international market research and analytics company Factworks, and its findings included:
- Two out of three Facebook users surveyed said they visit the pages of local businesses at least once per week.
- 14 percent of respondents only use their mobile phones when interacting with local businesses.
- 66 percent use their smartphones to discover new local businesses or events when they’re in a “new or unfamiliar area.”
- Mobile-first shoppers were 1.54 times more likely to write recommendations and reviews for products and services offered by local businesses and 1.37 times more likely to use Facebook to discover pop-up shops or events in their local areas.
- 45 percent of people said they need information about local businesses while on the go, but only 40 percent of local businesses believe mobile-optimized marketing will be more important in the future.
- People visit up to seven local businesses per month, spending between 40 percent and 55 percent of their total monthly budgets on local products and services.
- One-third of respondents believe local shops are more expensive than chain stores and shopping online.
Facebook IQ wrote in a blog post revealing its survey results, “When determining whether people prefer to shop online or offline, the differences often depended on a person’s affinity for online shopping. Those who prefer to shop at local stores cite liking that goods are immediately available and close by, and that there are no shipping costs, again touching on values such as price and convenience. Those who prefer to shop online cite liking the option to shop from home, at any time of the day, and the option to compare prices.”
The social network’s research arm also shared these takeaways for local businesses:
- Promote trust in your brand: Our research shows that trust and security are two of the main reasons people cite for shopping locally, and neighborhood businesses can uphold a brand that is trusted within their community. Add personalization to your marketing campaigns, connect to local community initiatives and engage with customers who post on your Facebook business page.
- Optimize your marketing for mobile: When building marketing strategies, make sure people can access your content on any device, from any location. Promote Facebook posts using geo-targeting to reach people by location or region in order to reach your intended audience.
- Value mobile-first shoppers: Our study shows that mobile-first shoppers are engaged and enjoy writing recommendations and reviews for local businesses. Embrace these “local brand ambassadors” by employing a loyalty reward system and ensuring that you continue to engage them in communications.