With trust in big business at an all time low, research signals a new era in consumer purchasing habits, with small businesses having the advantage.
A study of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by new web-to-print service Avery WePrint, has revealed there’s more to purchasing from a small business than just supporting the local economy. The study suggests it actually makes us feel happier than when we purchase from a large corporation.
Why shopping with a small business is satisfying
Over 80% of Brits reported feelings of happiness or contentment when they purchased from a small business. This figure dropped to just 53% feeling this way after purchasing from a large company.
A quarter of Brits said choosing to buy from a small business actually made them feel good about themselves. The feeling applied to a range of purchases from essentials such as haircuts and fresh fruit and vegetables to larger, special purchases like new furniture for the home. In fact, over three quarters of Brits said they would put their trust in a small, local chain or an independent when making a big purchase.
Marketing Director for Avery WePrint, Fiona Mills, commented on what the research means for the UK’s small businesses.
“We commissioned the study to show just how much the UK’s small and independent businesses have to be proud of. We want to encourage these organisations to celebrate their status as a small business, it’s something very special. There’s no feeling quite like starting and growing your own business, so why not shout about it? The research shows just how much the British public likes the service they receive from small businesses. So if you’re proudly independent or a passionate small business that really cares, it’s worth communicating this in everything you do, from your business cards to branding and marketing materials, your packaging, presentation and your customer service.”
What large companies can learn from the UK’s small businesses
The personalised service offered by small businesses was cited as the number one benefit of buying from them, with over 60% of Brits agreeing with this. This was closely followed by good customer service, feeling valued and being able to deal with the same staff. WePrint’s Fiona Mills explained how business of all sizes could learn from these findings:
“There’s certainly a lot that larger companies can learn from how smaller organisations do business. At Avery WePrint for instance, we’ve really taken the findings to heart and tried to offer a service that mirrors what people like so much about small businesses. We’ve made it easy for anyone to design their own branding materials such as product labels, business cards and laptop skins, with flexible online design tools. At the same time, we’ve got a small, friendly and knowledgeable UK customer service team at the end of the phone who are always happy to talk to customers through any enquiries.”
It appears there are definitely some lessons in customer care that big businesses could learn from. A frustrated 58% of Brits had experienced poor customer service at the hands of a large organisation including waiting on hold for more than 30 minutes, no-one getting back to them and excessive cold calling. The top three big business customer service fails were found to be unpleasant staff, being ignored or forgotten about and receiving an impersonal service.
Brits are more likely to trust small businesses
Unsurprisingly, Brits were more likely to put their trust in a small business owner than the CEO of a large company. A third of people felt that small business owners were trustworthy but just 5% of Brits felt that the CEO of a big business could be trusted.
When asked how they’d describe a small business owner, the number one response was ‘hard working’, cited by almost 75% of people. Yet only 22% of people felt the term ‘hard working’ applied to big business bosses. Instead, words such as 'ambitious', 'greedy' and 'materialistic' featured highest on the list of words used to describe the CEO of a large company.
To find out more about Avery’s newly launched WePrint service, or, to design your own marketing and branding materials, that are as unique and special as your business visit Weprint.
The top ten products and services Brits prefer to purchase from a small business:
2) Restaurant Meal
3) Fresh produce e.g. fruit and vegetables
4) Takeaway tea and coffee
5) Greetings cards, gifts and presents
6) Car repairs and services
7) Books, newspapers and magazines
8) Snacks and food to go