Local is a Driving Force

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Local truly matters. If there is one thing that everyone has learned during this pandemic, it is how important local businesses and communities matter – to everyone. When this all began, little did anyone realize how much walking into local businesses would be missed. You walk in, say “hello,” and if you frequent them enough, they call you by your first name. This event has been a very painful reminder of how much these local businesses mean to all of us.

Kelton Global, a consumer insights and strategy consulting firm, has been analyzing consumer behavior and sentiment since the onset of the pandemic. The most current data shows that 52% of Americans believe that the long-term effects of the coronavirus will be mostly positive than negative, and 9 out of 10 believe that there will be one positive change to come out of the outbreak.

Findings from these insights prove one thing – the importance of local. Sixty-seven percent of people have grown more aware of how local businesses in their community are doing. Additionally, 68% of people prefer to purchase from local businesses/retailers right now.

As states gradually reopen, it is safe to say that people are looking forward to going to these local businesses to shop and patronize. Local radio stations will promote those openings as they always have, and the listeners of those stations will shop and buy – especially heavy radio listeners.

According to a recent Nielsen custom study, people who are “ready to go” are heavy radio listeners. Among heavy radio listeners, some of the things they plan on doing are: ordering take out, dining out at a restaurant, shopping for non-grocery items, going to a hair salon/barber, shopping for clothes and more.

Heavy radio listeners will also spend more than they do while going to a grocery/warehouse/home improvement stores, landscaping, remodeling and more. Here’s a chart of the top 10 based on percentage.

Additionally, heavy radio listeners are 29% more likely to make a major purchase of something that they had postponed due to COVID-19, within a month after restrictions are eased. Specifically, heavy radio listeners are 32% more likely to purchase/lease a new/used vehicle, and 22% are more likely to buy a new house.

All consumers are anxious – anxious to do the things they miss and to support the local business that matter to them. Heavy radio listeners are even more anxious to shop, buy and spend. Whether it is a restaurant, retailer or radio, local is a driving force for all of us.

When restrictions are eased in your area, what’s the local business you plan on walking into first?

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