The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major contributor to many changes in consumer habits throughout the past year. Lockdowns and remote working have arguably led to the resurgence of localism. As online shopping grew in importance so did local retailers, as a result of the increase in hybrid and home-working, coupled with consumers choosing to avoid busy city centres.
With increasing interest in the UK in conscious consumerism, consumers are looking towards purchasing authentic, locally and sustainably made products, which is driving increased support for local businesses.
The renewed commitment to local communities benefits retailers and brands alike. With shifting trends, how are local retailers adapting to consumer demand? Key actions for retailers are maintaining availability and driving customer engagement. Local retailers are also benefitting from the of online shopping, which has lead to consumers staying devoted to shopping local even post-pandemic.
How Covid-19 changed localism, and what this means for brands and retailers
Localised shopping is increasing in demand, as UK shops and brands continue to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Staying local has become associated with ease and convenience, meaning the public can support jobs and businesses in their home communities. Kantar, the grocery market monitor, recorded sales growth of 63% at independent food stores. Consumers no longer travel far to purchase their favourite products and are turning to easier alternatives closer to home.
It appears that this trend is not going to decline any time soon. It is also remarkable in younger shoppers, with Retail Gazette reporting that 49% of 18-24 year olds are planning to support small businesses more post-pandemic. A survey by Barclaycard also found that more than 9 in 10 people who have recently shopped locally say they will continue to do so. This is supported by a 63% rise in spending at specialist food and drink stores, such as butchers, bakeries and greengrocers, in 2021. We’ve also seen the rise of delivery companies operating more locally, such as Oddbox, which works with local farmers to combat food waste by delivering fresh produce to the consumer’s door. It is this search for authentic and local product sources which retailers can turn in their favour.
Additionally, the return of localism is supported by an increase in relevant online searches. Consumers are searching for phrases such as ‘supermarkets near me’, and are open to trying different options locally, not being as keen to travel too far from home for their supermarket experiences.
Online shopping has grown in popularity in the context of shopping locally. Staple purchases like bread and milk are being delivered straight to doorsteps, with a variety of sustainable and ethical choices available online. Local businesses also turned to deliveries within their neighbourhood, and continue to turn this to their advantage. This was a direct response to shopping habits changing so rapidly during the pandemic, with retailers forced to reinvent themselves in order to provide innovative and new shopping experiences.
We also see localism being key to product strategies. Trends like this are opening opportunities for brands and retailers to elevate their service offerings. They can respond in creative ways in order to engage and build presence within the localised shopping narrative. For example, Marks & Spencer has introduced an interactive map to inform consumers where some of their ranges originate. With consumers demanding more information on the products they choose to purchase, brands are responding by adapting to maintain the competitive edge.
Rising public interest in localism is also connected to sustainability trends and shifting brand loyalties. With the desire to shop sustainably and consumers intending to make informed purchases, they are interested to know the provenance of the products they buy. In turn, they are not afraid of abandoning brands which do not meet their expectations. Increasing availability of sought-after products within local areas can deliver not only an increase in sales but also impact public recognition. Covid-19 brought communities together, with many shoppers looking for ways to support local businesses. This has been the key driver in shifting consumer behaviours.
What is the importance of localism in retail?
Why is it important for brands and retailers to respond to localism? Availability and consciously sourcing have a direct correlation to localism –availability across local stores is therefore essential. Research conducted by Think with Google showed that convenience and speed drove purchase decisions in 2020, with 44% of consumers buying products in better availability. This is also highlighted in a study conducted by Deloitte, which quantifies that 45% of consumers were happy to spend more on products that were convenient and easy to access. With the shop local trend connected to ease and shopping consciously, these figures illustrate that the trend is here to stay and can’t be overlooked. Having products that fulfil the consumer need , which are locally available and visible on shelves is crucial.
With the desire to support communities, local businesses and conscious consumerism, more brands are beginning to establish connections within local areas as a response. Consumers are more perceptive and looking for substance when they make their purchase decision. This is a growing behavioural trend during and post-pandemic. Therefore, neglecting availability in local areas can lead to lost sales.
How can Logobrand support brands and retailers harness localism trends.
Shopping local as a trend is not leaving us any time soon. With the public desiring to support local communities, conscious shopping has grown in popularity. At Logobrand, we understand how important it is to answer this demand. That is why we want to ensure you are supported as the increase in shopping locally grows.
So, how can we help brands and retailers with on-shelf availability to maximise sales and ensure loyalty within a local environment? Our approach consists of data-led support and our on-site field sales deployment team, so you can rest at ease knowing your brand is in safe hands. We are equipped with the right technology, using store and SKU stock insights to allow our team to negotiate with store colleagues and make informed decisions to ensure retailer compliance, as well as fixing availability gaps fast.
Our expertise in data insights can help you identify trends and shopping patterns to inform effective strategies. Our actions speak louder than words– we work with brands to adapt their strategy and in-store execution to meet consumer demand at a local level.
As we look towards the future, it’s important to note the increasing importance in local shopping when it comes to supply chains. With SKU support, we can help you drive brand awareness and compliance.
With the right field sales team, in-store insights and stock level support, your brand can get on the right track to ensure seamless shopper experience and maximise sales. We provide the tools and technology for you to face the competition and deliver the smooth, local experience your shoppers need.
How can our services help you with the rising trend of shopping local
- Identifying stores that need support and pinpointing products that are experiencing availability issues, out-of-stocks, and therefore lost sales
- Effective merchandising
- Regaining share of shelf. We’ll ensure the correct number of facings are present to keep your consumers engaged and the shelves fully stocked
- NPD speed to shelf. We know how important it is to ensure your products are available for shoppers as soon as they arrive in-store
- Increasing visibility. With additional sites and visual merchandising, your product sales will soar
- Rectifying store and SKU level problems where retailer EPOS data is available
At Logobrand, we have a dedicated team of field marketing experts ready to help you maximise sales in-store and deliver a positive return on your investment. We’re proud of the clients we’ve worked with, including some of Britain’s best-loved brands. If you’d like to find out how to maximise sales in-store, get in touch with us today.