Lifestyle, Opinion

Why you need to be shopping small this Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (according to Andy Williams). You can feel a sense of joy in the atmosphere, people seem to be kinder to each other, more forgiving, and more generous. 

According to the Bank of England, a typical UK household spends around £2,500 each month, but in the run up to Christmas, this increases by over £800 in December. Over the years, the way we shop has changed, and online shopping has become increasingly popular, accounting for £1 of every £6 we spend. This year will be no different and online shopping may make up even more of our Christmas shopping especially due to the 4-week lockdown in England in the run up to Christmas.

With most of us having to go online to source presents this year, we might find ourselves searching the more well known department store websites for gifts, but I really want to challenge this idea and encourage you to shop smaller this Christmas.

I saw a picture on social media of a quote that really stuck with me:

When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons and a little boy to get his team jersey.

And it’s true. We all know that Jeff Bezos doesn’t need another £50 (to add to his roughly £112 billion net worth), but that £50 might make a world of difference to a small business just starting out. So get off Amazon, and start shopping small.

Why you should shop small

  • As I’ve said above, the effects of the money spent will be felt much more, as your order will make up a bigger proportion of their daily sales compared to large retail stores
  • You are more likely to receive a positive personal experience, because you won’t slip through the cracks so you’ll get better customer service
  • You can find bespoke things that you probably won’t find in other shops
  • You will make somebody’s whole day, week or even month!
  • You’re supporting local economies, that employ local people, building stronger communities

How to find small businesses

In some ways, it’s actually easier to shop small online because you can find a lot of shops that are not just in your local area. Here are some great places you can find small business online:

Etsy

Etsy is a great place to find lots of small businesses, I have managed to buy all my Christmas presents this year through Etsy. There’s such a wide variety of things to purchase, you’re sure to find something.


Not on the high street

Another great website for finding small businesses with a huge range of products available!


Instagram shopping tab

Yes it is an annoying app update but it is useful for finding a range of small businesses.


Facebook

Another social media platform great for finding small businesses, just search for what kind of product/store you want.


smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com

This website has a great small business finder for shops in the local area, and you can search for exactly what type of shop you want.

How to support small businesses

  • Like, follow, comment and share their social media, this engagement helps them to reach wider audiences, allowing them to reach more potential customers. Any form of interaction on social media gives them this boost.
  • Directly tell your friends and family about them 
  • Buy a gift card as a present or even for yourself
  • Leave positive reviews on social media or their website 
  • When supporting your friend’s business, don’t ask for ‘mates rates’ or free products. Asking to pay less is money out of their pocket, and at that point you’re not supporting them, you’re costing them.

Let me know if you find any great small businesses and don’t forget to check out my Etsy Store!


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