One in five Brits shop with independent retailers more than they did one year ago, rising to almost one in three (30%) for the 18 to 24-year-old age group, new research shows.
The research, conducted by The Leadership Factor on behalf of myHermes, polled 2,000 adults from across the UK to build a picture of shopping habits and attitudes towards independent retailers.
Currently, 55% of people shop with independent retailers once a week or more frequently, with 8% shopping with independent retailers every day.
One in nine (13%) adults now claim to actively seek to shop with independent retailers, with Londoners most likely to seek out independents at 19%.
In-store remains the most popular way to shop with independent retailers (83%), but the proportion of Brits shopping with independent retailers online is significant (33%), partly thanks to the popularity of online marketplaces like eBay, Not On The High Street and Etsy.
The 25 to 34-year-old age group is most likely to shop online (49%), followed by 18 to 24-year-olds (41%), suggesting this shift towards shopping online with independent retailers will continue.
The research also explored factors that would encourage people to shop with independent retailers. Almost half (48%) said proximity to where they lived would encourage them to shop with an independent retailer, placing it top of the list.
Recommendations from friends and family came second with 40%, suggesting independent retailers should place a strong focus on collecting and publicising reviews. Practical and security factors, such as trusted payment options (33%), a well-functioning website (29%) and trusted delivery options (29%) also ranked highly on the list.
In general, views towards independent retailers are positive, with 38% agreeing with the statement ‘independent retailers offer better customer service’ and 23% agreeing that ‘independent retailers offer better quality”. Just over one in five (22%) also said that the internet makes it easier to shop with independent retailers.
Cities whose residents shop with independent retailers once a week or more frequently:
Joanne Morley, head of marketing at myHermes, said: “Independent retailers are facing their toughest battle from online retailers such as Amazon, who are changing Britain’s high streets.”
“We’re encouraged by the results of this research that show not only do we shop with independent retailers more than we did a year ago, but many of us are actively looking to support independent retailers over the retail giants.”
“This research helps independent business owners understand what they need to do to grow in an increasingly competitive marketplace and attract new customers – both online and offline.”