Small business is winning big: more people than ever searching for, and shouting about local favourites online
19 March 2018 - Shopping habits are seemingly returning to days of old, with more people than ever making the effort to get out, explore their local area and find ‘hidden gems’, a new study by online business directory Yell.com has revealed.
Posts relating to finding a new local business on the photo-sharing app Instagram, have grown at a rate of more than 50% year-on-year. The most popular terms being used to describe a discovery of a new local business on social channels are all positive, including ‘wonderful’, ‘cool’ and ‘love’. In fact, the use of the term ‘wonderful’ to describe a local business has increased 270% since 2016.
With this heightened rate of discovery, local food and drink establishments are the most popular business types to be shared online, with shares of vegetarian food likes increasing by 408% from 2016-2017, Thai increasing by 217% and Spanish increasing by 200% in the same period. Locally owned vegan eateries closely followed, with a 157% increase.
There is a clear difference in local searches by gender. Men look for architects (58%), barbers (57%) and internet cafes (56%), whereas women are more likely to search for eyelash services (66%), nail salons (64%) and window cleaners (64%).
When it comes to regions, the City of Westminster leads the way where local discoveries are concerned, with more consumers sharing an experience than anywhere else in the UK over the past year. Manchester and Edinburgh follow in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
The study also found that Sunday is our most preferred ‘day of discovery’, with 16% of all local shares via Instagram or Facebook, happening on what was traditionally seen as the day of rest.
Over 110,000 start-ups have already been launched in 2018 and to further celebrate the resurgence of local businesses, Yell.com is visiting 20 cities in the UK to celebrate the nation’s local small businesses.
Heading up this campaign to ‘#lovelocal’ is former BBC Dragons’ Den panellist and champion of small business Sarah Willingham, who comments: “Small, local businesses can offer more exciting, enjoyable and personal experiences, so it’s amazing to see these local discoveries are being more readily embraced and shared by the British public. What I love about being an investor is discovering the small businesses in the country that are doing something different, so I think it’s great that Yell.com is helping the country to discover these gems in their local areas more easily, too!”
On the findings, Yell CEO Richard Hanscott also commented: “From starting the Yellow Pages in 1966 and launching Yell.com in 1996, we have always strived to bring the nation’s small businesses into the limelight and are excited to tour the UK and take this a step further throughout the coming year.
The findings of our study show that these local businesses truly are the backbone of the UK, and the heightened social media conversations and interactions show they will become ever more important to local communities, with a new tech-savvy generation seeking out new discoveries and places that aren’t your high street stalwarts”.
For more information on the campaign, please visit: https://www.yell.com/justyell/
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