WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Data Shows Consumers Want to Shop and Dine Locally (Episode 224)

On this morning’s Business Beat, Jeff shares an ongoing trend in consumer behavior: those who are searching for something online but going to a store locally to actually make the purchase. Visits to local stores and restaurants are top of mind, according to a recent report by Google.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about this great news for local merchants and local restaurants:

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Good morning, Paul!

We know clearly that the pandemic has reshaped consumer behavior, specifically as it relates to shopping and buying behaviors, while it appears that one behavior continues to grow, and that is the behavior of searching for something online but going to a store locally to actually make the purchase.

The journey starts with a consumer going online to find out what store locally sells it, to check price, check for discounts and promotions relative to that purchase intent and or to check local inventory, but doing all of that with the intent of buying it locally. This is really welcome news, of course, as our local merchants are struggling to keep the lights on and keep their businesses alive.

They need our business now more than ever before. And it seems like early indications are that we want to give it to them. Google reports that while buying online is certainly still strong, data shows that there is a real intent to shop at a local brick-and-mortar store or dine at a local restaurant. Searches for local plus businesses, those two terms, have grown by more than 80% year-over-year, including searches like local businesses near me.

What are we wanting to buy locally? Here are the top categories, coming in at number one: restaurants. Number four, gas then food and food near me, according to Google data just released.

So, the bottom line, well, maybe there’s hope for our local merchants and local restaurants that we love so much as a cherished part of our lifestyles.

So, go online to research, find and discover, but make your purchases at a local merchant or a local restaurant as these establishments begin to reopen, and we begin to return to some welcome level of normalcy.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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