One “silver lining” surfacing from the otherwise crippling coronavirus pandemic is that it has given people renewed enthusiasm to support local businesses. 75% of consumers plan to support local merchants as widely as possible once restrictions on non-essential businesses are lifted.
This was the finding of a new survey commissioned by Groupon and conducted by OnePoll. The study surveyed 2,000 people to gather their shopping plans post-COVID-19 lockdown. 67% of participants said they are more hopeful now than when the crisis first began.
GroupOn Consumer Plans Survey
The research examined the type of businesses topping the list for people to visit. It found restaurants, clothing stores, salons, spas, and bars are among the first places consumers plan to spend money at when its safe to do so.
Consumers Continue to Support Local Merchants
The survey shows that consumers have already been going out of their way to support small businesses. 86% of those surveyed say they have continued to support locally owned businesses during quarantine.
The research uncovers how consumers have been supporting local businesses during lockdown. For example, 77% said they have been participating in a virtual experience offered by a local business. 60% of consumers said they have been ordering more takeaways and deliveries from local restaurants.
An Optimistic Consumer Outlook
For local merchants, the research shows an optimistic outlook and growing consumer confidence. It also shows ways small businesses can sustain an income amid restrictions.
As Simon Goodall, Chief Commercial Officer at Groupon commented:
“This crisis has disproportionately affected small businesses and our hearts go out to local merchants, who have often poured their life savings into their businesses.
“As some businesses begin to slowly and responsibly open back up, it’s encouraging to see that many Americans plan to continue to help their communities recover by supporting small, local businesses.
“Even if you live in an area that hasn’t relaxed restrictions or you don’t feel that it’s safe to support them in person just yet, there are still a number of meaningful ways that you can make a huge difference right now such as taking an online class, ordering takeout or delivery and booking future plans,” Goodall continued.
Americans Plan to Spend $100 a Week Post-Lockdown
Another encouraging statistic: the average American plans spending almost $100 a week at local businesses. This is 16% higher than what was spent before the crisis.
The study also analysed what people had missed the most during quarantine. Nine out of ten people admitted to feeling bored and missed dining out, going to movies, and seeing friends and family.
During these challenging times, Groupon’s study offers encouragement for small local businesses that there will be better times ahead.
Groupon’s Consumer Infographic
More in: Small Business Statistics