Global Survey Shows Millennials and Gen Z Consumers Are Rallying Around Small Businesses

Sendinblue and CITE Research Report Reveals Shift in Shopping Behaviors, Growing Data Privacy Concerns and Apple IDFA Insights

Sendinblue, the leading all-in-one digital marketing platform, has released a global survey executed by CITE Research, which reveals a behavioral shift in consumer views and spending habits as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, and new insights on how consumers view data privacy.

According to the study, 41% of US consumers say they purchased from small businesses more than before the pandemic, including more than half (51%) of Millennials and 46% of Gen Z consumers, who also reported an increase in small businesses spending. Women and men differ in terms of what motivated their spending. Overall, 60% of US female respondents reported they spent more at small businesses because they wanted to contribute to the local economy, while 55% of US male respondents say they were motivated by the greater bond established between consumers and small businesses. Furthermore, the report shows transparency from businesses on prices and data privacy is vital. While 75% of US consumers say they are more concerned with online privacy, 70% say they are willing to share data with small businesses in exchange for discounts and deals.

Contrary to long-held beliefs, results also found that small businesses have adapted well to consumers’ ever-changing expectations and are outperforming larger competitors when it comes to online shopping. Overall, 58% of US consumers prefer the online shopping experience with small businesses due to the personalization and customization components. Additionally, 53% of US consumers prefer online shopping with small businesses because they feel they receive superior customer service. 76% of respondents plan to purchase the same or more from small businesses in-person this year.

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“These results reinforce our core beliefs that contrary to dire prognoses, the outlook for small businesses is extremely promising,” said Steffen Schebesta, CEO of North America, Sendinblue. “Shifting consumer expectations coupled with data privacy concerns, increased desire to support businesses in their community, as well as updated communication preferences, make small businesses the ideal candidates to edge out larger competitors.”

Additionally, the findings indicate a shift in spending behavior as they relate to minority-owned businesses. Overall, 80% of US consumers intentionally sought out minority-owned small businesses for shopping during the pandemic. Furthermore, 76% of Black (38%) and Asian (38%) consumers are more likely to purchase from minority-owned small businesses more in the future.

Small Businesses Have the Upper Hand With Acquiring Data

The survey also revealed how consumers expect small businesses to manage personal data. For example, 79% of respondents in the US reported a willingness to share data with small businesses if it is made clear how the data will be used. Meanwhile, 86% of US consumers prefer to interact with small businesses that are transparent about data privacy and usage. Those who prefer shopping with small businesses online are more willing to share most information, indicating that small businesses may be more successful in attaining consumer data than their larger counterparts.

U.S. Consumers Opt-In to App-Tracking

Though data privacy remains a concern, the report reveals 24% of US consumers opted-in to Apple’s IDFA, which allows apps to track users’ activity to effectively inform apps how to target ads and marketing campaigns. Only 7% of respondents opted out of Apple’s IDFA, while the majority of respondents (38%) say they don’t know what Apple’s IDFA is. That said, 31% of respondents don’t own an Apple product, and are not affected by the Apple IDFA changes.

Most Consumers Prefer Communication Via Email

The report found that for 66% of US consumers, email from small businesses is the preferred method of contact for all demographics except for Gen Z (under the age of 22), which prefers Instagram. According to the report, consumers prefer email because of convenience and ease of use, while one-in-three also say they are most comfortable with it.

Methodology
Sendinblue and Cite Research polled 4,199 consumers, equally spread amongst respondents in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. Respondents were required to be over the age of 18 and to have made an online purchase in the last 12 months. The report findings were statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.

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