Thoughts on Shopping Local this Small Business Saturday
As an independent retailer I appreciate all the well meaning posts from newspapers, retail consultants, chambers of commerce, and others touting how shopping local keeps money in the community, supports local services, and keeps mom and pops in business, while shopping the chains and on-line just funnels dollars to the Big Bad BEZOs and others of his ilk.
But really? Is shaming local shoppers the way to encourage them to shop local?
The whole shaming thing has not worked since childhood when my mom forced me to eat my spinach because it was healthy, or the spouse who says “lose weight and exercise because you look like a slob”, or the pastor that says come to church or you will go to hell. Great motivators all.
By the way, I spit up my spinach all over my mom so the shaming backfired on her as well.
What value does the local shopper get by shopping local? A lot really and I am frustrated that no-one talks about it.
- You encounter someone who likely knows, likes, and cares about you. Compared to some creepy algorithm that says, “Welcome back Steven D. Elliott, here are some things that may interest you.”
- You interact with people who truly want to serve you and help you make the best choice. Compared to skimming hundreds of reviews posted by strangers and choosing alone.
- You receive support from people dedicated to helping you enjoy your purchase and solving any problems you may encounter. Compared to hanging on a support line for hours, shipping things back for a refund, and being left back at your starting point with nothing to show for your time and frustration.
- You enjoy the appreciation and fellowship of people who value you as part of your community. Compared to being nameless a fly-speck on a revenue report for some vending machine.
Shopping local does benefit your entire community but you should shop local because it is by far the best benefit and value for you.
Shop local this holiday season and all year long; you will be glad you did.