In October 2021, we sent out our second Member Pulse Survey, where we asked our valued SESLOC members about their local shopping and spending habits. 853 responded, revealing four key insights into local spending:
1. The Majority Want to Support Local Businesses
We asked our members how they felt about supporting local businesses, and 66.7% reported that it was very important to them. In fact, half of all respondents reported visiting 7 or more local businesses each month!
Take Action: This is one of the reasons that we’re introducing a Local Rewards program. We’re partnering with amazing local businesses to offer a rewards point boost to SESLOC members making purchases with their SESLOC HomeFREE Checking debit or Visa Signature Rewards Credit Card when shopping local. Shoppers simply visit a participating business, use an eligible SESLOC card, and bonus points are added automatically to their next statement. It’s that simple! Check out the complete list of participating businesses.
2. Shoppers Are Value Conscious
We asked our members to rank the most important factors they consider when deciding where to spend their money. Cost was ranked as the most important, followed by quality, amongst factors that also included business location, service, availability, convenience, and reputation.
Take Action: People want to support their community, so focus your attention on the specific needs of the locals. Curate a solid knowledge of their desires and implement into your customer service plan. This can be used to increase client satisfaction, build brand loyalty, and generate repeat business.
3. Respondents Reveal Their Barriers to Local Spending
Respondents reiterated their consideration for value, stating that their primary barrier to local shopping is if the prices are higher than national competitors. They also mentioned being unsure of where to go as well as difficulty finding information online about local businesses as major barriers.
Take Action: An online presence is crucial in our digital age. At a minimum, keep your contact information and operating hours current on Google. A social media presence is also a valuable (and free resource), as shoppers often turn to their apps first to look for information about a business’ holiday hours, inventory/menu, specials, and more.
4. Respondents Value Businesses That Give Back
When asked what factors would motivate respondents to shop locally, 65% said they were interested in supporting businesses that give back to the community — such as support for local nonprofits or schools. 53% mentioned that they are motivated to shop locally when the business offers discounts, promotions, or specials.
Take Action: Central Coast locals have a deep desire to give back to the community they love so much. As business owners, let’s all work to make sure people know who we are, where we are, and what benefits we can provide.