Retailers can gain an extra £125 of revenue every time a customer recommends their store on social media, according to an independent study for American Express.

The study from Econsultancy found that the average spend in small shops is £6.58 - but if a shopper goes on to share positive comments or images on social media there is the potential to make up to £125 in additional revenue from new customers.

Three-quarters of people surveyed said they were likely to shop small this Christmas, but only 46% said they would recommend them online while 80% would recommend them by word of mouth. The study revealed that if everyone shared their positive experiences on social media it could be worth £31.3bn to the small business economy.

American Express UK vice president Heather Laverne said: “Our research shows that shoppers are already great at celebrating their favourite restaurants by checking in and posting pictures of their food. However all independent shops could really benefit from the same type of personal endorsement for fantastic products and service.”

Shop Small ambassador and television personality Kirstie Allsopp said: “This research shows what a positive impact it can have on small shops and the local community. This Christmas, don’t just buy your gifts in small shops, share photos and messages too, it could make a real difference to your local high street.”