Who doesn’t get a little giddy (though discretely to keep your cool, of course) when greeted by name upon entering a restaurant or business? It makes you feel like a bit of a celebrity, right? Okay, maybe it’s just me.
But it seems that “Cheers,” or at least the theme song to the popular 80s show, got it right – you really are more likely to go to a place where you’re well known, or at least where somebody knows your name.
It turns out that research backs that up: 23% of consumers surveyed choose to shop at a locally-owned, independent small business where employees are friendly and greet customers by name, according to American Express OPEN Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse. And 22% of those surveyed choose to shop at a small business because the people that work there know them and make recommendations of products and services they might like.
That makes sense. In this world of online shopping and social media, it’s nice to have that face-to-face connection. I’d also rather support someone with my hard-earned money that takes the time to learn my face and name. The friendly factor is also incredibly important: What’s that old adage about catching more flies with honey than vinegar?
The research also found that 73% of consumers choose to shop local to support businesses in their community because they don’t want those businesses to go away.
Some other interesting survey results include:
- A majority of consumers (87%) share their favorable opinions of businesses with others; 85% use word of mouth, 24% use social media and 13% use review sites. Only 69% share unfavorable opinions.
- Men actually spend more than women at the one small business they shop at the most ($110 versus $95).
- Resources to find locally-owned independent stores or restaurants vary by region: Consumers in the south and west are more likely to use deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social; consumers in the northeast are more likely to use web sites of traditional media outlets; north central states use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
So what do you think? Are you more likely to support your local businesses and restaurants in general or because you feel a bit important when you walk in and are greeted by name?