We’ve come out of our lockdown isolation and are being told to get out there and be more local in our shopping habits There is nothing new about Buy Local campaigns in New Zealand but this is probably the first one to be conducted in the shadow of a global pandemic. As businesses in our communities have suffered sharp declines in revenue, the campaign to support them has gathered momentum. Television and radio airwaves are full of emotive advertising telling us to keep it local when we want to buy something, and in the current climate, that message might stick.
To be honest, Buy Local campaigns have never been fully embraced by Kiwis. A survey conducted by XERO late last year revealed that while 53 % of us would prefer to buy from New Zealand stores only a third of us were shopping locally more than half the time. The biggest factor in this reluctance was, unsurprisingly, cost. 69% of New Zealanders said they weren’t prepared to pay 5% extra to support a New Zealand business over an international one. Having said that, many local businesses will still thrive due to innovative management, a little help from their digital marketing partners, and by providing a superb customer experience. They’ve never needed a Buy Local campaign to succeed.
This campaign probably has more chance of working. We’re still looking for every excuse to bust out of our homes and be part of the real world again. That world includes local retailers and early reports indicate that consumers are spending up large with them. But before they go local, many shoppers go online. That is why online marketing in New Zealand is as important as ever.
While people are happy to go into bricks and mortar stores to complete their purchase, and to enjoy some social interaction, the transaction usually begins at home. A survey carried out by a shopping rewards site late last year gives us the perfect example of this: 55% of the Gen Z respondents said they planned to shop in physical stores to do their holiday shopping but 84% of them said they would go online first to compare, read reviews and gain some inspiration and ideas.
To us, that sounds like a perfect shopping experience where online and physical stores complement each other. So just because more of your potential customers intend to Buy Local in the near future, that doesn’t mean you should abandon your online efforts. If anything, you should ramp it up and get in touch with us. If the transaction begins online and at home, we can increase your visibility and make your business the one they’re looking at before they go out and get local.