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Research: Over half of consumers will support SMEs as Christmas approaches

12 December 2018 Data Insights

Figures released today show over half of consumers are planning to support small businesses in the final run-up to Christmas. The study* from card machine provider Paymentsense, shows that over 28% plan to shop in small businesses regardless of location, and over 23% will do so locally.


Over a third (35%) of consumers said they are supporting local retailers, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses over the Christmas period because they’re concerned about the decline of the high street – possibly showing that national and regional campaigns promoting local businesses are starting to have an influence.


Others believe that small businesses are an important part of the community (31%), while over a quarter said they support their local businesses all year round – not just at Christmas. Nearly a fifth of respondents said they knew many of their local business owners and wanted to support them during important trading times.


From a regional perspective, 58% of those in Bristol and 56% of Londoners indicated they will supporting small businesses over Christmas, locally or otherwise. Almost half (49%) of respondents from Manchester fell into this category, while slightly fewer people from Birmingham said they would shop at SMEs over the festive period (31%).


The research also found that those with higher incomes are more likely to support small businesses in the run up to Christmas. Over seven in 10 respondents earning over £75K annually said they would, compared with 5 in 10 for those earning £35-49K, and four in 10 for those with incomes of under £15K.


Consumers are less concerned by slower service or higher prices when they shop locally. The study found that one in four (38%) overlook these issues if the business is near their home.


Guy Moreve, CMO at Paymentsense said: “There have been several supportive campaigns aimed at consumers which specifically promote buying from smaller local businesses at Christmas. We’re hoping our study is the first sign that these efforts are having a positive impact, and that consumers are rallying behind small businesses at this time of year.


“Our study also revealed a growing expectation around the ability to pay by card. The proportion of people who said they’d walk out of a small business if they couldn’t pay by card is 9 percentage points higher (54%), compared to last year’s data. Also, if a small business does not accept card payments, almost half (48%) of shoppers would expect the owner to introduce card payment facilities within three months.”


Those on higher incomes are more likely to support small businesses this Christmas.

Income before tax % supporting SMEs over Christmas

100K+ 72

75-99K 70

50-74K 58

35-49K 54

25-34K 50

15-24K 48

Under 15K 42


*Study of 1,002 UK consumers. The research took place in December 2018.

**Compared with data arising from the same question and sample during the same period in 2017.


About Paymentsense

As Europe’s largest merchant services provider, Paymentsense enables over 70,000 SMEs to process over £6 billion worth of card payments per year. From card readers to semi-integrated solutions and payment gateways, Paymentsense supplies small businesses with low-cost card processing solutions that allow them to take payments in storeonlineover the phone and on the move.

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