Dec 4, 2015
Yelp: 64 percent of Americans plan to shop local this holiday

Yelp, the company that connects consumers with local businesses, announced the results of a survey predicting how Americans will spend their money with independent retailers this holiday season. The survey found that 64 percent of Americans say they plan to shop at local businesses this holiday season, and millennials (ages 18-34) are the largest likely group of local holiday season shoppers, with nearly seven in ten (69%) reporting they plan to shop at independent retailers. Local shoppers plan to spend an average of $258 each on gifts at local businesses in the U.S., totaling nearly $40 billion spent at independent retailers in November and December.

“Most people don’t realize that the largest category of reviewed businesses on Yelp is shopping and so we’ve seen these local retail trends developing for years,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO of Yelp. “We’re encouraged to hear that a majority of Americans plan to shop at local businesses this holiday season, and that younger consumers are especially motivated to spend money on Main Street.”

When asked what motivates local shoppers to spend their money at independent retailers, two thirds (67%) of likely local holiday shoppers said they shop local to find unique gifts, over half (55%) said supporting the local economy motivates them to shop at small businesses, and 44 percent said they are motivated by the convenience of shopping local. Those who say they do not plan to shop at local independent businesses for the holidays cite lack of competitive prices (31%) as the top reason.

By Thanksgiving, 36% of Americans who will shop for gifts this holiday season say they will have started holiday shopping, and by Small Business Saturday, November 28th, more than half of holiday shoppers (52%) will have started shopping for the holidays. The survey also shows that 1 in 2 Americans (53%) plan to purchase experience-based gifts at local retailers this year, including restaurant gift certificates (34%), theater or movie tickets (18%) and salon or spa gift cards (17%).

“Right now, 71% of searches on Yelp are being conducted via mobile, meaning millions of consumers are looking for information about great local businesses on the go,” Stoppelman said. “Yelp provides a terrific platform to help small businesses capture part of this year’s projected $40 billion spent on gift-giving for their local communities.”

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Yelp from September 18-22, 2015 among 2,016 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, contact

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