Increasingly, consumers are realizing they can harness their individual purchasing power to advance change. What’s different this holiday shopping season is that consumers are spending where they can see and feel the power of their impact – on their very own Main Streets. 

Mastercard’s new holiday survey shows that 77 percent of people plan to shop locally this season. Consumers are prioritizing small businesses, as well as minority, women- and Black-owned businesses, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse data, which measures retail sales across all payment types. People are also focusing on those brands that share their values, with 53 percent saying they would rather forgo a gift than receive one from a retailer whose values don’t align with their own. 

So what does this mean for marketers? 

This unusual holiday season is an opportunity for brands to more deeply engage with its consumers. It means brands – neighborhood boutiques and retail giants alike – should try to connect with the people they serve in a genuine manner, and to show in their actions, not just their words, how they can impact their consumers, communities and even the greater world. 

My call for brands of any size is to listen to what their communities care about and try to act on those areas. Conscious consumerism is more prevalent than ever, and caring about our communities makes those communities stronger, benefiting those who live there and those who serve them, including the brands. 

You can access Mastercard’s holiday insights here.