92% of consumers aren't going beyond 20 minutes to make routine purchases.
That's the big takeaway from our recent survey on consumer spending proximity. (Be sure you download the summary here.)
That's a big broad stat that says a lot.
Based on those numbers one could deduce that local businesses should focus 99% of their efforts on the immediate surrounding area.
Check out the following infographic to see how different purchases result in different travel times.
The More Frequent the Purchase, the Less We're Willing to Travel
This is what is boils down to: we'll go a couple miles at most for gas and groceries, but we're willing to go across town for clothes and movies.
How far do people travel to work out? Just a little bit farther than we travel for fast food.
Either way, we do both frequently, and as a result, we're not going as far.
Conversely, we don't get to go out to the movies often, plus theaters tend to be more scarce than Burger Kings. Same thing with shopping malls (for clothing purchases) and auto repair.
If you ever wanted to know why there seems to be a McDonald's every couple of miles, here you go.
Moving from "Just Another Merchant" to Part of a Routine
These purchases are part of our routines, and our routines center on home.
One of the most important lessons for any business is understanding how to engage people within their routines. If you can add consistent value, you become a regular part of that routine. It's a core tenet of customer engagement.
If you operate a brick-and-mortar business, it's important to define your radius of influence. How often do you see your typical customer? If it's daily or weekly, they're probably pretty close to you.
Then find a way, whether through deals and promotions, loyalty programs, or special customer engagement efforts, to insert yourself into the routines of the locals. Make it replicable, then spread the word and eventually you'll have a thriving business.
If you're outside of these parameters, or an online or B2B business, think of how you can impact the decisions people make within the radius. Is there a way you help people save money, make better decisions, or add efficiency to a routine action?