Online shopping was the go-to option for many this year, for obvious reasons. But there is another trend, which is gaining more and more traction with consumers: Shop Local!
Searches for ‘Support local businesses’ have grown globally by more than 2,000 times year over year. This trend is likely to continue.
Since the pandemic hit, we are restricted and try to avoid crowded malls, big box stores and busy shopping centers. So, this Christmas, according to Google and YouGov, 88% of consumers are now shopping more locally and will likely continue to do so in the future, simply to avoid public transport or city centers.
Even though online purchases for Christmas were high, in the UK there was a surge in high street shoppers after stores reopened in the weeks before Christmas, suggesting there is some pent-up demand for consumers seeking inspiration from physical stores.
Given we haven’t been able to socialize or see relatives as much as we normally would over Christmas, the age-old challenge of ‘what to buy’ has been more prevalent. This is probably why gift cards have had a resurgence this year. Another driving force is that they can be bought digitally while people try to avoid crowded shopping centers.
For many shoppers, the gifts that resonated most fit in the home goods category Again, with people spending more time at home, there was a lot of focus on home decorations, furniture, big-box electricals and gourmet food and beverage. This study on internet search data highlights some key items on our shopping lists.
The study also highlights that thoughtful and personalised gifts trended more strongly in 2020 over previous years. While some of the drivers behind this may be negative, e.g. Lower disposable incomes so people opt for cheaper but more sentimental gifts, this tend to be purchased from independent stores which further highlights that boutique stores are performing strongly.
Small independent stores which have become the lifeblood of many developed economies, from the US to Japan and most places in between, have struggled to compete as bigger companies have invested in ecommerce over the years. Finally, with the help of tools like Facebook and Shopify, the barriers to entry have been all but removed so smaller stores are more accessible than they have ever been. This has been key in keeping many industries afloat, ranging from restaurants offering online takeaway orders through to craft and cosmetic stores offering click and collect services.
Those that have innovated, know that accessibility is key. That’s why as well as being able to take digital payments, they ensure that they can still process cash. In particular for small businesses, we know that this is important because it’s the only form of payment that carries no processing fees, provided it doesn’t require to be banked. That’s where our cash desktop counting solutions come in to play. We offer a range of low cost, high ROI devices to improve efficiency and accuracy, that is imperative in the service driven culture expected of retailers today.