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According to a new study by ActiveCampaign, a company specializing in customer experience automation, 84% of consumers said they plan to shop small during the holidays. Going further, nearly 60% of consumers said they’d be willing to pay more for a small business product as opposed to the lowest price, which is surprising amid high inflation trends over the past few months.

When consumers were asked about their loyalties to big box stores, 60% of consumers indicated negative sentiment toward retail giants, jumping to 69% of Gen Z and 51% of Boomers.

Image source: ActiveCampaign.

This reveals a huge opportunity for SMBs to gain market share and also signals to major retailers like Amazon, Target and Walmart that they have some work to do ahead of the holiday season to gain back trust.

One thing is clear for businesses of all sizes — customer experience is the key to gaining and retaining loyalty not only this holiday season, but year round. Interestingly, 30% of consumers said one of their biggest deterrents from shopping at small businesses over Amazon is that those businesses are not top of mind for them.

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To ensure businesses stay top of mind for consumers, they need to connect with new and existing customers across all channels, no matter where they engage with them first, ensuring they send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

No matter who or what the business is, if that 1:1 experience is not provided or doesn’t stand out, it will be hard to gain market share. In order to get ahead, each business’ customer experience needs to capitalize on touchpoints and interactions across channels to engage new leads, retain existing customers and turn regular customers into loyal advocates.


ActiveCampaign surveyed 1,000 adults (18+) living in the United States to understand their current shopping preferences and where their loyalties lie when it comes to both large and small brands. And while they indicated their trust among major retail players is waning, the data found consumer excitement toward small brands is increasing.

Read the full report by ActiveCampaign.

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