Consumers look local
Updated: Aug 28
Australian business is hurting. Years of drought, recent bushfires and the current COVID-19 pandemic have had a major impact, with nearly half of small business recently considering closing their doors of their business and larger corporations showing they aren’t immune. However, Australians consumers are finding ways to support local businesses.
Source: The Guardian Australia
Research released in June, when much of the country was in lockdown, showed Australians were increasingly supporting local businesses online. Moreover, for 70% of people buying domestically was a conscious decision. Interestingly, two thirds of respondents also said they would like to support more local businesses but were restricted by the limited digital presence of those businesses. A sign that many are yet to make a shift to an e-commerce platform.
Patriotic shopping isn’t isolated to Australia only, however with 70% of Britons reporting they will continue shopping locally post-lockdown. In the US, shoppers are admitting they are tipping to local stores more than usual. Will the sentiment to support local translate into long term behaviour change? Only time will tell, but with clear environmental, social and economic benefits perhaps this will be a positive change to arise from COVID-19.
Vying for a share of shrinking consumer spending, several campaigns aimed to encourage shoppers to buy Australian goods and services are cropping up. The Australian Made Campaign, the organisation responsible for administering and promoting the famous Australian Made logo, has launched a new TV advertisement. It features footage from its ‘Australian Makers’ video series, which showcases a number of Australian manufacturers and growers that proudly carry the Australian Made logo. Go local first is an initiative from the Federal Government and Australia’s peak body for small businesses to implore Australians through broadcast and digital advertising to think locally before each purchase.
New initiatives to support businesses are emerging too. American Express has brought back its annual Shop Small movement early this year with the aim of helping small business owners bounce back from this unprecedented crisis. The movement includes expert Idea Exchange virtual masterclasses, a Small Business Support Hub with resources and offers from a range of brands, and an “Open for Business” map to boost local awareness and foot traffic. While Buy from the Bush and Buy Aussie now are new social and online marketplaces dedicated to all things Australian made and owned, is another example of Aussies supporting Aussies. With residents in some states of Australia unable cross borders and explore their own backyard, no doubt these campaigns will encourage shoppers to continue to support their favourite local businesses online.