How to convince people to buy local


If you are part of an economic development group, a chamber of commerce, a Main Street program, or just someone who wants to see others buy more local products, it’s time you start making it worth their while.

Here’s how you can convince others to buy more local products.


3 Ways to Convince More People to Buy Local

In addition to educating people on the value of buying local such as:

  • how it supports your neighbors
  • it reduces transportation and environmental costs because the products are going to the store or place of purchase from nearby fields or manufacturing places
  • less fuel is used by you to get the product you need locally versus driving around for it
  • locals often invest their profits locally

it’s important to ensure you also reduce friction and give them a reason to buy besides just, “it’s the right thing to do.”

Even though buying local is “nice,” most people want to know what’s in it for them so start framing your argument that way and use some of these ideas.

  1. Become a part of a local currency program. Create your own currency or gift cards that people buy from the chamber or a Main Street association. The value behind them for local merchants is that they can only be used locally and the branding for your town is excellent.
  2. Make shopping convenient. Why do people often choose big box stores over small local shops? Because they know they’re open when they need them to be. While you don’t want to stay open 24 hours just to have a customer or two, it is a good idea to figure out when your customers are most likely to buy and be open at those times, even if it means opening later in the morning to accommodate a late night crowd.
  3. Remove the friction. Does it cost to pay for parking in front of your store? Are there never any spots? What else is keeping your customers from flowing through your doors? Find the source of friction and remove it. Then advertise the changes.

If you want more people to buy local, you need to give them a reason to do so. That reason can’t be just your idea. You need to convince them of either something they can’t get elsewhere or remove something that’s stopping them from buying local.

What do you think is the main reason people in your area don’t always buy local?

Leave us a comment below.