In order to better understand the needs and concerns of independent business owners worldwide, METRO surveyed 10,000 people in ten countries. Among them were 1,500 business owners. One of the questions asked:
What do consumers worldwide think about independent businesses?
Luigi with his Trattoria, the kiosk owner Heide who is there for her customers 24/7, Alexei with his fruit and vegetable stall and Sophie with her stationery shop are highly appreciated. They are seen as growth drivers for the local economy. They ensure diversity in the neighbourhood. This is how the majority of the consumers surveyed see it, which is also reflected in their purchasing behaviour: 33% of all consumers prefer to shop at independent businesses - almost three times as much as those who prefer non-independent businesses (12%).
There are different reasons for this: Some support independent businesses because they want to show support for their local community (37 percent), others because they appreciate the better quality at independent businesses (36 percent) and yet others because they like to buy from people they know personally (32 percent).
However, the study also shows clearly that independent businesses are not visible enough to consumers. This might make it difficult to actively support them. For example, consumers hardly see any ads from independent businesses. (75%). And two thirds claimed that independent businesses lack an online presence. This is reflected in the fact, that fewer than half of all business owners being asked have a presence on social media at all (46%), and only 42% have their own website.
The study has explored other questions as well, such as: What are the experiences of the business owners? How can politics support independent businesses? What else is needed to support them? The whitepaper of the study is available for download here:
Own Business Day
METRO offers its customers various tools and services to enhance their visibility and to help them attract their customers. In 2016 METRO initiated the first Own Business Day, which is celebrated every year on the second Tuesday of October. It is a day dedicated to independent business owners and their achievements, to give them recognition. Further information about this year's Own Business Day on 9 October 2018 and can be found on www.own-business-day.com