8 in 10 Americans Are Likely to Shop Local This Holiday Season: How Business Owners Can Prepare

Ahh, the holidays. The season of indulgent meals, pumpkin spice everything, and gift giving has begun! Signs are pointing to shoppers already preparing to bust out those wallets and blow some dough on this year’s holiday haul.

Yelp commissioned Nielsen to field a consumer survey to find out where and when Americans are planning to spend money this holiday season, and what draws them to shop at local businesses. Good news for small business owners – a whopping eight in ten Americans are likely to shop at local businesses this holiday season. But wait, there’s more! Our data tells us that nearly half of these local shoppers plan to spend more than $100 at small businesses and 44% say they will start shopping before Thanksgiving. And it’s not just retail businesses getting in on the action: six in ten local shoppers are looking to buy experience-based gifts such as a restaurant gift certificate, massage, or theater tickets. Check out the infographic below for even more insights.

Now, with that insider info in mind, here are Yelp’s top five tips for business owners to maximize your exposure on Yelp and increase the chances a holiday shopper will choose to spend money at your business.

1. Claim your free Yelp Business Page. Start by going to Yelp for Business Owners at, if you haven’t already.

2. Update your business information. Confirm that your address and phone number are correct, add your business website, and don’t forget to update your hours for the holidays!

3. Add photos. Business owners can upload unlimited photos on Yelp and we know that consumers spend 2.5 times longer on Yelp Business Pages with photos.

4. Tell people about your business. Make your business relevant in more search results by adding content in the “From The Business” section to let customers know your specialties.

5. Create exciting promotions. Consider creating a Check-in Offer for your mobile audience, like one free hot chocolate, or a Yelp Deal to entice new customers to try your business for the first time, like a $25 for $50 voucher for any goods or services at your place of business. Finally, you can set up a Gift Certificate to be sold through your Yelp Business Page, which is perfect for your existing customers who want to share your goods or services with friends, family, and loved ones.