The hidden gems of our society
With getting out of a pandemic, environmental concerns and economic crisis, the way we approach everything now has changed over the last few years. While things are beginning to return to normal in some ways, one thing is for certain: shopping has changed drastically.
Consumer sustainability expectations and curbside pickup are only two examples of how quickly trade changed to adapt to the times. Small firms are under pressure to keep up as a result of the effect.
According to Shopify research, when the pandemic’s consequences became more apparent, communities came together and supported local small businesses more. 79% of respondents who indicated they did their shopping locally claimed they did so to support their communities. People are recognising that independent businesses may vanish if they don’t support them, according to Satish Kanwar, VP Product at Shopify.
Among the most recent worries for founders are the state of the economy and the ongoing problems with the supply chain. Even though it is especially important now, there are many other reasons to support small businesses.
Here are some very valid arguments in favour of the benefits of shopping small, for you, your community, the next generation, and the local economy:
Support real people
It’s difficult to keep a business going and expand it. By assisting these independent creators, we can honour the risks they have taken. Buying from small business owners is a way to encourage them and support their genuine enthusiasm because small business owners typically put more heart and soul into what they do.
Make Durable purchases
A product that is produced on a smaller scale using top-notch, locally sourced materials is also likely to last longer. Fast fashion is well recognised for using a lot of low-quality materials in their manufacturing, which is done to make things last less time and encourage buyers to buy more frequently. Smaller brands are typically in it for the long haul and use niche markets and higher-quality products to justify slightly higher prices. They know from the start of their production that they can’t compete on price with such established brands so they must distribute quality products to differentiate themselves. Even though the initial cost may be a little greater, the investment will be worthwhile in the long term.
It’s better for the environment
As environmental issues take front stage in the news, more consumers are paying closer attention to what they buy and asking questions about the origins of the products they use. Small business owners participate directly in the production of their goods. They are far more concerned with the content. Although this isn’t always the case, smaller companies (like DTC brands) may have a shorter manufacturer-to-consumer journey, which translates to greater transparency in the products’ components, materials, and origin. Locally produced goods are frequently produced by small firms. Or they sell goods produced by small-batch brands as resellers.
Due to their ability to produce in lower quantities, smaller firms frequently have the resources to do so in an ethical and local manner. Although the price of these goods may be higher than that of comparable things at chain stores, you are paying for the assurance that comes with ethical production. Because of this, they uphold their high standards and conduct business more openly.
Enhanced customer service experience
Small enterprises distinguish themselves from major brands through their personalised approach. As a result, shopping at a small business is considerably more intimate. Small businesses depend more on word of mouth and a positive reputation, thus the bundles are handled and packaged with care. Additionally, you’ll be doing your shopping with individuals that actually want to help you.
Large corporations have acknowledged that immersive retail is a successful approach, but it is challenging to scale the intimacy of individualised shopping experiences that are typical of small enterprises. Many new business entrepreneurs run their operations entirely by themselves, including the customer service department. The good ones will go above and beyond for each customer because, when you’re tiny, every customer counts.
Additionally, discovering new or local brands can be accomplished by shopping at small companies. Small businesses excel in diversity, originality, and a personal touch, while department or chain stores excel in volume and price.
Find something unique
Lastly, shopping at a less known firm is also a way to find unique products and differentiate oneselves from the masses. We are faced with a pretty uniform sense of style, with very few people truly standing out, as trends and social media influence people’s lifestyles and decisions. In order for small businesses to succeed in today’s market, their value proposition must be very distinctive and stand out from the uniform crowd. As a result, purchasing this kind of products can be a fantastic opportunity for self-expression and uniqueness, given that there are probably not many of them available.
In addition to what we’ve already said. Small businesses play an important numerical role in our society. As these statistics demonstrate
New small business in 2022 so far (UK)
Of the total business population in the UK
After discussing the importance of supporting small businesses in detail, let’s look at some actual companies that you can shop from. What these three businesses have in common is that they are all relatively new and were founded by young people with a dream and who incorporated their values into the essence of their brands. From their websites and social media pages, as well as in the way they presented themselves, we can gather that they care and want to effectively communicate their value proposition.
Altered Canvas is a Spanish handcrafted apparel company that combines fine art and high-end streetwear by using renowned canvases on each of its goods and redesigning them to create a one-of-a-kind item for each one. They use premium fabrics to make each item and are very open about their production and sustainability practises. They debuted in 2020 and market their goods through a dropping limited time collection strategy.
The skincare products made by Perl Cosmetics are customizable with the premise that there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to skincare. The formulae are made with a minimum of ingredients to yield maximum benefits, and each product is made to be customised to meet the demands of the user. With sustainability at the forefront of PERL, every product is handmade in small amounts. To reduce trash, they also employ glass containers and provide refillable options.
In the first lockdown, this jewellery company was founded with the goal of producing stylish, high-quality everyday earrings. They experienced a sharp increase in the past 18 months in part because of social media, where a few videos for the company went viral.
Even though it’s a small brand, 10% of all revenues go to a project for female refugees because they emphasise giving back to the community.
It’s important to note that all of these brands heavily rely on their online presence to interact with customers and raise brand awareness. Two of the three, in particular, established themselves as legitimate businesses as a result of their popular TikTok videos.
Social media enables the circulation of recognisable material and facilitates word-of-mouth referrals, which aids businesses in developing their brands.
In order to be as effective as possible, businesses must not only respond to client comments but also actively use social media to grow their customer base and promote repeat business.
These platforms should always be regarded as the most effective tool for smaller firms, who typically have tighter budgets, because strategically utilising them can save money compared to traditional media marketing techniques.
That being said, if you can’t afford to buy from a small business, you may still help by giving them a follow or supporting their content on social media platforms, it costs nothing but can make a huge difference!
Do you have any other small business to suggest? Leave a comment below!