The start of the holiday shopping season is upon us, and Americans – particularly those in the Midwest – will be demonstrating their local loyalty well beyond Small Business Saturday. In fact, 79% of Midwesterners would rather shop at a locally owned store than at a regional or national chain, according to a recent survey by Wakefield Research for Lead Bank. The survey was conducted among adults in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Lead Bank/Wakefield Study Results

Santa’s Local Shoppers.

As many might expect, Midwesterners are walking the walk: 96% of those who will purchase holiday gifts this year plan to do part of their holiday shopping locally – and quite a bit, at that. On average, they estimate they will buy 41% of their holiday gifts from local stores this year.

And while men and women both overwhelmingly support their community’s businesses, men tend to edge out women slightly in the quantity of their local buys. Nearly half (47%) of men plan to do at least 50% of their holiday shopping at local businesses compared to only 40% of women who plan to do the same. Whether shopping for a great last-minute find or that unique item for someone special, local stores are prime for the perfect present-picking.

Modern Local Banking.

While Midwesterners are ready and willing to shop local, they still expect certain community businesses – like banks – to provide a technology experience similar to that of larger companies. And they’re willing to walk away if they don’t get it. Indeed, 74% of Midwesterners feel financial features or technologies are essential in order for them to do business with a community bank – meaning they would not do business with a community bank that didn’t offer those features or technologies. The top technologies Midwesterners want are:

  • Mobile banking (62%)
  • Electronic person to person payments (31%)
  • Mobile wallets (15%)
  1. When it comes to mobile banking, Millennials (74%) are most eager for the convenience and access it provides, while Baby Boomers are decidedly less concerned, with less than half (49%) of them considering it essential to doing business with a community bank.
  2. Trendy Tech. Not only do banks, or any local businesses, not want to find themselves behind in the technology race; consumers don’t want to either. More than 2 in 5 (41%) Midwesterners, including 55% of Millennials, admit they don’t want to be the last of their friends to adopt a new technology.
  3. Risky Business. But just as financial features and technologies can bring customers in the door, overlooking the security of their data and personal information can cause a community bank to lose customers for life. Indeed, when deciding whether to adopt a new technology, 65% of Midwesterners prioritize the lowest security risk as the more important factor, compared to 35% who see innovation as the more important consideration.
Midwesterners deem mobile banking top financial tech essentail

The Lead Bank Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18+ in the Midwest, between November 14 and November 17, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey.

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Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.