Small Wonder: Consumers Dislike Large Stores And Prefer SMBs

People are fed up with retail giants, according to a survey by ActiveCampaign. 

Of the consumers polled, 60% have negative feelings about large stores, although this varies by generation: 69% of Gen Z dislike them, versus 51% of Boomers. 

This spells an opportunity for small businesses. Indeed, 84% of consumers plan to “shop small” during the upcoming holidays, at least in part.

Younger shoppers are especially avid to buy from SMBs: 40% of Gen Z and 32% of millennials say they prioritize them for their holiday purchases and occasions like birthdays. 

But ActiveCampaign argues that, instead of sending generic happy birthday emails and 10% off coupons, SMBs should add another layer of personalization and  incorporate care recommendations for previously purchased items or those in their cart. 

What keeps consumers from shopping with SMBs? For 88%, higher prices are one of the top three barriers, and 69% say it’s the biggest one.



But they will often overlook it: 60% will pay more for a small-business product instead of going for the lowest price. Indeed, 87% have shopped with at least one new small business in the past two years. 

The key here is that shoppers will purchase bespoke products if the 1:1 experiences overrides that of the retail giants.

Hyper-personalized emails are one of the best ways of communicating with those customers. 

Large marketplaces like Amazon aren’t effective, for only 20% shop from the small business storefront. 

“Amazon doesn’t cater to the creator market. For small businesses that are product-based and creator-made, I don’t know any personally that sell on Amazon,” says Justine BaMaung, co-founder of etchible, an ActiveCampaign client. “Along with our direct website, we’ve found selling in person is really successful."

However, 30% of consumers in the survey say that one deterrent to choosing SMBs over Amazon is that those businesses are not top-of-mind. 

ActiveCampaign surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers on August 23, 2022. 


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