Why You Should Buy From Small Businesses
(and Why Small Businesses Struggle)
by Catherine Hamilton
In a world where consumers favour big-name brands and shopping with e-commerce titans such as Amazon, it can be difficult for small businesses to make their mark and compete in the market against these more well-known businesses.
And, despite the fact that many small businesses create quality items, on par or even exceeding the quality of bigger businesses (while usually having a smaller environmental impact) buyers tend to – consciously or unconsciously – favour familiarity over most other factors, including their own values as a consumer. What’s more, shoppers often shun small businesses that offer similar prices to more well-known brands, even if the quality of the product is the same or even better than that of the more well known brand.
So, why should shoppers make the effort to buy from small businesses?
While shoppers may be more assured into making a purchase from a more familiar brand – such as well-known high street brands or online clothing stores – this familiarity says more about these businesses’ brand awareness as a result of effective marketing than about the actual quality of the product. Meanwhile, small businesses competing with these larger, more well-known corporations struggle to compete when it comes to matching big businesses’ marketing budgets, and are therefore unable to establish their brand in the same way. However, this doesn’t reflect the true value of a small business, and there are numerous reasons as to why they’re worth buying from over larger corporations.
You can be more certain of quality.
If a small business has managed to establish themselves and secure positive reviews from previous shoppers – without the advantage of having first established their familiarity to buyers – then you can be even more assured of their product’s quality than when buying from a big brand.
Small/newer businesses often prioritise sustainability.
Smaller businesses – particularly those that have been established in the age of environmentally conscious buying – often prioritise and accomplish sustainable practices. And, if these small businesses are local – either regional or national compared to global – shoppers have an even greater opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of their purchasing choices.
You give more back to the economy.
Studies in numerous countries have shown that buying from small businesses gives more back to the local economy than buying from chain and international stores. One study showed that small retail businesses delivered 52% of revenue to their local economy on average, while larger retailers with numerous chain stores only delivered an average of 14% of their revenue.
Small businesses care.
In contrast to huge conglomerates, small businesses care about each individual customer, ensuring that each customer is taken care of and given the most satisfactory shopping and customer experience.
More than this, each individual purchase means something to a small business, making a sizeable difference to the lives of those who run it.
So, despite the biases we may have towards big well-known brands, it’s well worth changing up our habits to reap the benefits of buying from small businesses: to make a positive difference while enjoying quality products and a stellar customer experience.