Americans’ reliance on online shopping has likely never reached the extent of dependence as it did in 2020. From daily essentials to niche products, people turned to digital marketplaces to conveniently buy what they needed.  However, small businesses have largely been left out of the online shopping boom, given the many logistical, marketing, and financial factors that go along with setting up a functioning online storefront. But one company is looking to change all of that by creating a platform for users to browse and buy items specifically from local stores in their area. 

CivicScience asked more than 3,200 U.S. adults about their interest in using an online platform that would allow them to buy products from small, local businesses. As the data show, 60% of respondents would be very or somewhat likely to use a platform like this.

Those who are 35- to 54-years-old show the most interest in such a platform that supports their local businesses.

Income also plays a role in interest, with those who make more expressing a greater desire for an online platform that lets them shop local. And perhaps not surprisingly, those who are most likely to use the platform are also the most concerned about shopping local in general. 

As it turns out, those who are most likely to use the platform are also spending the most as a result of the pandemic, suggesting that, ultimately, money may not be a major obstacle for those who are committed to supporting their local businesses. 

Ultimately, Americans are largely interested in being able to support local businesses online. And while a platform designed for users to browse and buy from small, local businesses may have slightly more appeal to those with more cash to spend, that may not be a bad thing if small businesses stand to benefit.