The holidays will be here before you know it, which means you have some serious choices to make as a consumer about where you want to spend your hard-earned money. You can choose to shop with big-label brands that are household names. You can also choose to shop with small businesses instead. Maybe it’s half a pound of ground coffee beans from your local artisanal coffee shop. Perhaps it’s a local boutique down the street where you’ve been meaning to get that cute sweater on sale.
There are plenty of reasons to shop locally and with small businesses. It doesn’t need to begin and end with the businesses in your town. You can shop at online boutiques that are also small businesses, including some of your favorite ethical beauty brands. Here are eight benefits to shopping with small businesses.
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1. Enhanced Customer Service
Compared to bigger brands, you’re much more likely to have an enhanced customer service experience by shopping with independent and small businesses. That’s because they generally have the bandwidth to get to know you as a customer. You’re just not another face or number. They can come to know your favorite product and actually listen to your feedback.
2. Unique and Diverse Product Offerings
At big box brands, you’re going to get cookie-cutter offerings. This is partl ybecause they need to appeal to a wider base of customers. That means their products won’t be as unique or diverse. They can’t afford to think outside of the box because they risk alienating a larger consumer base. This is more of a quantity over quality approach.. Compare that to small businesses that would rather focus on niche markets, such as vegan beauty brands. When you buy from a vegan beauty brand, you can stumble upon unique and diverse product offerings like a cruelty-free beauty box subscription.
3. Helping the Economy
By purchasing from a small business, you can actually see where your dollars are going. There can be fewer questions and hesitations about how your money is being spent. There’s a lot more transparency. When you buy from an eco-conscious brand such as a vegan makeup brand, you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you’re buying from a business you know and trust.
4. Supporting People Directly
Instead of shopping at yet another faceless brand whose CEO changes after any challenging fiscal quarter, you’re supporting a business owner directly. You can know who owns that business. You can know their name. You can recognize your face. They can know your name and face, too! You directly impact the well-being and success of the people who work with that independent business as well. You make a greater impact when you splash into a small pond of an independent business than when you jump into the ocean of a big brand.
5. It Feels Good to Shop Small
Let’s face it. In the same way that you probably feel good when you volunteer, you probably also feel great when you shop small. It feels great for you, and it feels great for business owners. Plus, many independent business owners are ethically minded. They care about where they source their products from. They’re not just about the bottom line. That’s why you’ll see so many small businesses with eco-conscious and ethical offerings that give back, such as vegan skincare products. These independent businesses can actually tell you what’s in their products and where they come from.
6. Belonging to a Community
Small businesses belong to a community of people who shop at the business have niche interests. They appreciate the unique and diverse offerings you can find at a small business. When you shop at an independent brand, you’ll feel like you’re part of your very own community.
7. Help Create Jobs
When you shop at a small business, you’re helping not only stimulate the economy but you’re also doing your part to help create jobs. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, while there were 9.1 million jobs lost during the first two quarters of 2020, small businesses saw a gain of 5.5 million jobs. As consumers like yourself become savvier about where to spend money, we’re seeing huge growth for small businesses and people who want to support mom-and-pop shops or unique solopreneurs.
8. Personalized Shopping Experiences
If you’re looking for a personalized shopping experience, look no further than shopping with a small business. A shopowner can help you find the perfect product for you. It’s not like when you go to a grocery store and ask someone in a uniform what aisle you can find the spiciest hot sauce in. Instead, you can go to a small business that specializes in hot sauces, and they can help you find the perfect hot sauce for your taste, budget, and spice tolerance.