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MILLENNIALS are more than twice as likely to shop at small businesses than older generations, new research has found.
A survey of 1,000 Brits found that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of millennials plan to shop more with small businesses this year, compared to just 10 per cent of baby boomers.
And younger Brits are spending more when shopping small too.
The study by Vistaprint, an online provider of marketing products and services for small businesses, found that of all the demographics surveyed, millennials are spending the most supporting small businesses, at almost £1,000 per year (£998.40).
Those aged 55+, despite having the most buying power, were found to spend the least of the age groups (£710.88).
When considering why UK millennials love to shop small, community commitment comes out on top, as supporting the local economy was the biggest reason this generation prefers to shop at small businesses (46 per cent).
The next biggest reason was that shopping small feels more personal (43 per cent), while 31 per cent even said they feel guilty when shopping at big business, compared to just 4 per cent of boomers.
Simon Braier, Vistaprint Customer Strategy and Insights Director, said: “We carried out this study to help small business owners better understand consumer expectations and identify ways they can meet them.
“It’s encouraging to see that all consumers plan to shop more at small businesses this year, but it’s younger consumers who are at the forefront of the shopping small movement.
“Small business owners in the UK can seize this opportunity by understanding what draws younger adults to their business and how best to reach them.”
The research also found that catering to millennials means having a strong online presence.
Four in ten millennial consumers prefer to shop online, which is over twice the number of shoppers aged 55+ (16 per cent).
Nearly twice as many Gen Y shoppers say it’s important for small businesses to have a website compared to boomers (80 per cent vs 44 per cent), while over three times the number say small businesses need to be active on social media (64 per cent vs 17 per cent).
Not being online could harm small business sales, as almost a quarter of millennials (23 per cent) are less likely to shop at a business without an online presence, more than twice the number of boomers (8 per cent).
These figures are cause for concern for many UK small businesses, as over half don’t have a website, while a massive 47 per cent also don’t use social media at all for their company.
The top barrier to building a professional marketing presence is lack of budget (31 per cent), with the average small business owner spending just £656 per year on all marketing activity.
“Vistaprint is focused on helping small businesses look professional across all their marketing, and we’ve seen that even with limited resources business owners can differentiate their brand online,” says Vistaprint UK market lead Charlotte Holmes-Darby.
“Whether it’s through positioning themselves as experts, targeting a niche audience or carefully managing their online reputation, businesses can look and feel professional, prepared and plugged in, without blowing their budget.”
For more information, visit the Vistaprint.co.uk website.
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