10 reasons to shop local.

November 12, 2023

The way we shop has not only been influenced by the recent global pandemic - the current cost of living crisis means we are more considered in our shopping and travel decisions. There are many factors that influence us, but here at xplore, we believe that shopping locally eclipses convenience. In this article, we propose 10 reasons why shopping small and shopping locally is best for everyone. Communities are all the richer for small independent businesses and it's xplore's mission to live in a global world driven by local economies, with independent businesses at the heart or our high streets.

convenience at the doorstep.

We all lead busy lives and convenience is important. Being able to 'pop to the shop' which is within walking distance is convenient. Having local convenience stores within communities is convenient. It saves us having to take to the car, or hop on the bus. It cuts down on travel. As part of its suite of features, xplore is developing an in-app click & collect service that will enable customers to shop locally and keep money circulating within the local economy

reducing carbon footprint.

Being conscious of our environmental impact is a growing concern for many people. From limiting single-use plastic to travelling more consciously, we are looking for more sustainable alternatives. Shopping locally is an easy way to contribute to the collective effort. Whether combining the walk to your local grocery store into your exercise regime, or shopping daily to cut down on food waste, being more considered in our habits can help build sustainable communities.

supporting local businesses.

One of the most compelling reasons to shop locally is to help keep independent businesses in business. The pandemic hit many retail businesses hard, and evidence suggests that the larger chains were less resilient than more agile local businesses. However they were not without their casualties. According to one report by The Guardian, Britain has lost 6,000 retail stores in the last 5 years. Buying from local businesses, whether they be market traders, physical shops, or even local online stores, we can make a significant positive impact. Supporting local business is a way to demonstrate that we value their input, and by voting with our pound, it will enable local businesses to continue their great work.

boosting the local economy.

Shopping locally is not just about supporting individual businesses; it has a positive impact on local economies as a whole. When we spend at local shops and businesses, a larger percentage of that money stays within the community compared to spending at non-local businesses. According to research from Civic Economics, for every £100 spent at a locally-owned business, £73 remains in the local economy. This money circulates, creating more jobs and revenue, which benefits the whole community.

unique products and services.

Local businesses offer a wide variety of unique products and services that can't be found at national chain stores, which tend to be clones of each other. Regionality is lost, sense of place diluted resulting in a loss of regional identity. Local businesses are not tied to national sales or global marketing strategies. They can curate their own diverse and unique range of products tailored to the preferences and needs of the local community. By shopping locally, we not only support these businesses but also have the opportunity to discover interesting things, and people that make our cities unique and vibrant places to live.

personal connections and expertise.

Getting to know independent store owners and building personal connections with them is one of the great joys of shopping local. Unlike larger chain stores, local business owners not anonymous. They tend to be directly involved in running their stores and genuinely care about opinion and feedback from their customers. Nuturing personal connections enables independent shop owners to provide excellent customer service and share their knowledge and expertise about the products they sell. xplore has been created to build more personal connections between shop owners and their customers, and to reward customers for their loyalty.

Community support and non-profits.

Local businesses are deeply rooted in the community and actively support the people and organisations around them. During the design & build of xplore. the team spent time with a variety of independent trade associations and community groups and witnessed first hand how collaborative and supportive they are of each other. Not only each other's business, but the overall economic health of their communities, for the benefit of all. They were found to contribute to community wellbeing often by providing financial support to non-profits and by participating in local initiatives. Studies have shown that non-profits and charities receive significantly more support from small businesses than large ones, making local businesses crucial for the success of these organisations. By shopping locally, we contribute to the overall growth of our communities.

economic resilience and future growth.

Local businesses play a vital role in the economic resilience and future growth of a community as they are less susceptible to national downturns and are more likely to work hard to stay open. The success of local business attracts and encourages other entrepreneurs to start up, which has the ripple effect of more jobs and increased revenue circulating within the local community. By supporting local businesses, we are investing in the future growth and prosperity of our towns and cities.

For every £1 spent with a local independent business, 63p is reinvested in the local economy

source: federation of small business

excellent customer service and product knowledge.

Shopping at local stores tends to mean excellent customer service and product knowledge - because it's personal. Local business owners tend to be well- informed about their products and take pride in their expertise. They know their customers and are able to adjust their inventories to include goods and services that their customers want. Local stores often carry unique items from local artists or fresh goods from local farmers, providing a diverse range of products that often can't be found at national chain stores.

pride in our towns, cities and communities.

Shopping locally is not just a practical choice; it is a way to show pride in your city and community. By supporting local businesses, you help shape what your city becomes. When you shop locally, you cast a vote for your city's vibrancy and uniqueness. You contribute to the growth and success of local businesses, ultimately creating a great place for future generations to live and thrive.

Shopping locally has huge benefits both for individuals and our communities - convenience, sustainability, economic resilience and financial health. We've built tools that empower independent business owners to build close relationships with their customers, to reward customers loyalty and bring local businesses and their customers together to maintain thriving, economically sustainable neighbourhoods, towns and cities.

Join us on xplore. Be part of the movement!

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