97% of Consumers Search for Local Businesses

Important Statistics Brick-and-Mortar Merchants Should Know

Ecommerce is growing and big box retail stores continue to dominate the marketplace in many regions. Yet the importance of small brick-and-mortar retail should not be ignored. While shopping has changed over the years, consumers still want to shop at local businesses and they are out there looking for small stores where they can make their purchases. Now, IAmLocal helps them find them.

By the numbers

Admittedly, it’s a tough time for small business owners these days and, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 75% of them say Amazon is their top competitive challenge; 90% have seen their sales negatively impacted by the online retailer.

That said, there are also many positives. Here are 21 important statistics that should bolster every independently-owned merchant out there.

  1. 82% of consumers regularly shop at their neighborhood businesses and 48% plan to increase their use of local businesses over the next year. (Source: Yodle)
  2. 104 million shoppers spent a record high of $17.8 billion on Small Business Saturday 2018. (Source: American Express)
  3. Small Business Saturday 2019 smashed records with $3.6 billion in online sales, representing an 18% year-over-year growth. (Source: Adobe Analytics)
  4. 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
  5. 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. (Source: GoGulf)
  6. 30% of Google mobile searches are related to location. (Source: GoGulf)
  7. “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years and mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me” have grown by 200%. (Source: Chat Meter)
  8. More than 50% of “near me” searches result in a store visit. (Source: GoGulf)
  9. Almost a third of consumers (29%) search for local businesses at least once a week. (Source: GoGulf)
  10. 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics
  11. 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. (Source: GoGulf)
  12. Search result information will send 70% of consumers to a physical store. (Source: Joel House Search Media)
  13. 88% of searches  for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Source: Nectafy)
  14. 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
  15. By 2021, mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales. (Source: Forrester)
  16. 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day, whereas only 7% of non-local searches led to a sale. (Source: Think with Google)
  17. Local searches result in purchases 28% of the time. (Source: Joel House Search Media)
  18. 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
  19. 46% of millennials and 49% of Gen Xers shop on webstores or independent boutiques. (Big Commerce)
  20. 49% cite not being able to touch, feel or try a product as one of their least favorite aspects of online shopping. (Big Commerce)
  21. Offering free delivery encourages 9 out of 10 users to purchase. (Walker Sands Communication)
  22. Retail websites or online shops were the most common source of initial product awareness, cited by nearly a third of consumers, and online advertisements were cited by 15 percent. At the same time, physical shops were the second most popular source of awareness, cited by 22 percent of consumers. (KPMG)

Supporting small business

IAmLocal sees the struggles independently-owned businesses face today. We know that half of these merchants say the impact Amazon has on the marketplace is significant. In looking at data from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s 2019 Independent Business Survey, small businesses seem to suggest that the problem isn’t changing technology or consumer habits. Instead, these merchants note they are often competing on an unlevel playing field.  

At IAmLocal, we aim to level that playing field. We take the same cutting-edge technology those large companies have and apply it to local businesses. Our e-commerce platform aggregates products from local small businesses so customers can find stores, search for items across all local retail inventories, order and check out all at once. Purchase are available either via pick up or same-day delivery.

IAmLocal is where the convenience of shopping online meets small business benefits. It’s a game changer for independent retailers that is intended to positively impact communities at large.

Join us today!

If you are an independently-owned business and have a physical retail space, contact us today to become part of IAmLocal.


Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with IAmLocal

How Shopping Local Helps the Environment

Anyone who heard Greta Thunberg’s emotional plea to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September 2019 has to wonder what steps individuals can actually take to help the environment. While we all know giant efforts need to be taken to better our world, there are small things every person can do to help reduce their carbon footprint and make an impact. IAmLocal wants to assist in the effort.

From here stays here

Buying local has many benefits for the community: jobs are created, money gets spent in the community and taxes get paid to help with public services. Shopping for goods locally also has an ecological impact because unlike purchases from large national chain stores or giant online retailers, chances are the products on the shelves are produced in and around your community. Supporting local shops actually means supporting your neighbors.

Save a tree

With the growth of online retail, the need for packaging has risen. In fact, in 2018, Fast Company reported that about 165 billion packages are shipped in the United States each year, equating to more than 1 billion trees. Plus, boxes get stuffed with filler and bubble wrap to cushion items while the ocean becomes filled with plastic. All this waste can be greatly reduced when you buy local.

Less fuel

Shopping local means items aren’t coming from some faraway warehouse. It also means there’s less global shipping, cutting down on the need for the tremendous amounts of fuel necessary to get items across the ocean via container ships or airplanes. 

A cargo ship can use 1 to 16 tons of fuel per hour for the largest ships traveling at 23 knots. Transit time for a ship from Shanghai Port to the Port of Los Angeles is approximately 21 days (or 504 hours).

According to Boeing, a plane like the 747 burns approximately 5 gallons of fuel per mile and over the course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons. It takes 14 hours for a flight to get from China to Los Angeles; Japan to New York is 15 hours.

Smaller carbon footprint

Independently-owned businesses typically require less space for their brick-and-mortar stores. This means they often set up shop in the heart of the community instead of the outskirts of town. Being in the center of a business district means fewer customers have to drive a mall or shopping center. People can walk or take a bicycle ride to local shops. 

Additionally, a small business doesn’t require large building development. Land is preserved and wildlife habitats are protected.

How we help

IAmLocal allows visitors to search products across all local area retail stores. Shop for what you need right in your own community. It’s even possible to discover specialty stores or items you may not have realized were right in the neighborhood.  

There’s no need to drive all around town to find what you’re looking for. Instead, save the gas and browse inventories online. Shop at different stores and then check out all at once. 

Let’s all work together to make a difference. Use IAmLocal to shop today. Start your search now.


Making Every Day Small Business Saturday

New Platform Helps Independent Businesses

As the holidays approach, shoppers start marking their calendars for important dates to get the best deals and most unique gifts. Small Business Saturday — Saturday, November 30, 2019 —  is a nationwide movement to celebrate small businesses to help communities thrive and stay vibrant. This year, IAmLocal helps in the effort.

What’s Small Business Saturday?

Launched by American Express in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which favor big box stores and large e-commerce retailers, this special shopping date encourages people to patronize independently-owned brick-and-mortar businesses.  

This one day can impact small businesses in a big way. In 2018, 104 million shoppers spent a record high of $17.8 billion at local stores. Research shows 64% of those consumers say that their primary motivation for shopping on the day after Black Friday is to specifically support their local community.

Why it matters so much

Once the holiday season begins, so does the shopping frenzy. Big name chains and well-known e-commerce sites don’t have trouble getting customers in the door. Small businesses don’t have the marketing budgets of these retail giants. The playing field is not level and puts the big guys at an unfair advantage.

But small businesses account for 99% of all registered businesses in the United States. When consumers buy something from them, local money stays local. Spending $100 results in $68 that stays in the community. Compare that to $43 from national and franchise businesses. Thus, shopping small is really a win-win for all the neighbors. 

Without patronage, the little guys end up closing shop. Nothing is more depressing than walking through a neighborhood and seeing vacant buildings and shuttered stores. It’s not just a loss in tax dollars to the community, but a million dashed dreams of owners who tried to better the neighborhood with a local business.

New way to shop small

Shoppers are encouraged to hit the street on Small Business Saturday. Go to your favorite stores, mingle with the community and find unique items. IAmLocal makes the process easier by combining a community focus with the convenience of online shopping, just like the big guys have.

Go online to to find what you need right in the neighborhood. Purchase online and choose in-store pick it up or have it delivered the same day.

Plus, IAmLocal is here to help local stores thrive not only on Small Business Saturday, but every day of the year. If you’re seeking high-quality, locally-made, and unique items, you’ll find them in your community.

Ready to shop local?

IAmLocal was created to help build vibrant communities by supporting and growing independently-owned retail businesses. The next time you considering making a purchase, remember all the ways you can make a difference with your dollar. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it an independently-owned business. Just click here to start your search. Then get ready to pick it up or we’ll deliver to your doorstep.

If your favorite merchants aren’t yet part of IAmLocal, tell them to register online.

Small business open sign

5 Ways IAmLocal Benefits Merchants

Opportunities Abound for Local Shops

There was a time when customers relied on local merchants. It was necessary to shop in the community where you lived. The internet changed that, providing more options and convenience. Now, IAmLocal is using the internet to point people back to their neighborhood stores. Here are just 5 ways IAmLocal benefits merchants.

Expands your reach

When it comes to getting your name out there, small businesses don’t typically have the means to blast a message about their brand like the chains and giant online retailers. That’s why we’re here. Becoming part of IAmLocal promotes your store to the community you serve and beyond.  

According to Hubspot, nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years and 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.  Your neighbors are searching for items you sell and want to buy them from your store. Being part of IAmLocal helps them find you. The additional bonus is that people across the globe who prefer shopping at independently-owned stores instead of big boxes or online giants can now find you, too.

Get an online presence

Retail today means more than having a brick-and-mortar shop. Customers expect you to have a website. When your budget and time is tight, who is able to create a really robust one? With I Am Local, merchants become part of the online community, even if you don’t already have a website. If you do have a website, but not an e-commerce option, we fill that void. Plus, if you’ve invested in a website, linking to it from IAmLocal boosts your ability to be found by search engines. 

Customers can browse

When consumers shop in-store, they get to see and feel the product before buying. However, having the ability to research products online before visiting a brick-and-mortar shop has become the new norm as 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day. 

Even if you have a website, you may not have all of your inventory posted so visitors can see what you have in stock. IAmLocal works with your cloud-based platform to show customers what’s available if they want to stop in and get a better look or simply buy it online.

Now you offer delivery

Local restaurants either have delivery drivers or utilize one of many delivery services. Grocery stores are also providing this convenient option. IAmLocal works in the same way for your shop. So, whether a customer buys shoes, a watch, candles or toys, they can get them delivered from your store to their door.

We offer three methods of order fulfillment for customers. They can make a purchase and pick it up at your store or the item(s) can be delivered to local residents the same day. Customers who make a purchase but live outside of town can have items shipped.

Boosts your sales

Today’s consumer likes when brands can solve their problems. They will buy from you if meet their needs. When merchants become part of I Am Local, we work together to meet those needs. For example:

  1. If they have to pack a lunch for tomorrow but don’t have a thermal bag to put it in, they don’t want to purchase it from a warehouse across the country only for it to arrive three days later. Instead, we’ll get there within hours.
  2. If they have a birthday in three hours and need a gift and flowers, they want to have them in hand by party time. Simply come pick it up or we’ll get it to you.
  3. If they need to purchase items from three different stores, but their car is in for repairs and they can’t get there, we provide one efficient delivery to drop the items at their home.

When merchants become part of I Am Local, we work together to meet all kinds of needs. Using IAmLocal allows a bigger audience to find you online and see what you have to offer. Customers can quickly and easily purchase and receive items. This process helps boost your sales and ultimately impact your bottom line in a positive way.

Join us today!

If you are an independently owned business and have a physical retail space, contact us today to become part of IAmLocal.


New Way to Support Locally-Owned Businesses

IAmLocal is a Big Deal for People Who Prefer Small Shops

For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 will stay in the community. That economic benefit is why so many people like the idea of supporting locally-owned businesses. But all too often shoppers are instead tempted by the convenience of an online retailer where purchases can be made via computer and shipped to right to their door. 

Now, IAmLocal combines the best of both worlds, allowing customers to find what they need right in their own community so the items can be quickly picked it up or delivered the same day.

Investing in your community

When shoppers buy from locally-owned businesses in their neighborhood, it helps the community thrive. Research shows that small business retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the community than chain competitors.  

Local jobs are created and the cash from purchases allows a shop owner to utilize a local banks or other services. Those store owners are also more likely to contribute to local charities and schools. It’s a financial win-win for everyone. 

Unique finds

Local stores don’t sell products based on some a national sales plan. They know their community’s interests, needs and wants. They set up shop because they want to provide items that differ from the more generic, broad range of items available at big box retailers.

Items are often better quality than the mass-produced wares from chain stores. Local shops are also more apt to stock locally-made products. Thus, finding a special gift or regional souvenir will more likely be located at an independently-owned shop.

How we help

IAmLocal works as a guide to local businesses. Having a variety of local stores on one website allows consumers shop for what they need right in their own community. It’s even possible to discover specialty stores or items you may not have realized were right in the neighborhood.  

Instead of searching the giant online retailer and getting items shipped days later, save time by finding something nearby and get it today. It’s even possible to shop at multiple small stores and have it all show up at your door with one delivery. No need for you to run all over town. Plus, the dollars you spend stay in your community.

Use IAmLocal to shop local today. Start your search now.