The top 3 reasons why consumers love small local retailers
Anyone who has ever thought about opening a shop will have thought about the location – especially whether it’s important to be in the high street or not. Every business will have a different need, but all would agree that the high street is important. High streets are now going through big changes and it poses the question ‘Do consumers actually care about their high streets?’ It seems they do. Research by Deloitte indicated that 73 % of consumers want to have a say about what happens in their high street and 57% want to see more independents. That’s a big vote of confidence in small retailers, so why is that?
- Customer service – owners versus managers
Any business owner will invariably be more likely to provide consistently good customer service than a paid manager because it’s their own business. No matter how well trained or motivated, managers are unlikely to have quite the same perspective, and that translates into a big difference for good customer service. Advice, conversation, or just the simple interchange of an everyday transaction can add pleasure to anyone’s day, so this is an area where independents score against the multiples.
- The high street is the centre of the community
Most people view the high street as the centre of their community, and no matter what issues there may be with parking, or litter, or ugly buildings, etc, it will always have a central role in providing its identity. A major part of that identity are the small independent retailers, who by their very nature create a different retail experience, providing a balance with the many multiples.
It’s what gives character and individuality to every town and without it, they could simply become cloned shopping malls without a roof.
- The swing back to ‘artisanal’ values
There’s an increasing move back to choice and variation from a ‘one size fits all’ approach and recent years have seen a proliferation of craft brewers, small cheesemakers, niche clothes shops, etc. This is clearly not a passing fad but a universal consumer desire to have more choice. Central to this is the artisanal approach – something created by a skilled person rather than a factory full of machines and production lines. Clearly identified with small producers and retailers this adds a new and more exciting dimension to local shopping that will help re-energise our high streets, and one that the major multiples will find inherently difficult to exploit.
David Tallon – MyStreet
David Tallon is a founder partner in MyStreet which helps small independent retailers compete with the major multiples by marketing themselves more effectively. MyStreet is a unique combination of phone app and monthly marketing advice and tips where everything is ‘done-for-you’ by experts. He has worked for more years than he cares to admit in retail marketing and advertising and wants to see more diversity in our high street shops.