local area marketing for local marketplace

Australia’s new normal: Buying local, sustainable products

by | Oct 12, 2020

Retailers, stores get creative on local area marketing

The trend in buying Australian-made items from locally-owned and socially-responsible retailers and brands has increased over the past years. A 2019 Roy Morgan consumer research showed 80% of Australians prefer buying locally-made food and beverages, 77% for locally-made agricultural and gardening products, 73% for children and baby care products, while 65% in building and renovation materials. But recent studies showed that the pandemic could have driven this trend to dramatically spike. A May 2020 research by Nielsen stated that more Australians are staying within local neighbourhood stores, markets, entertainment, and takeaways.

As Australians start resetting to the new normal, businesses have to understand how to address the changes in their consumption behaviour. To help local retailers and brands adapt and make the most of these changes, the National Retail Association and local area marketing platform Imfree shared some insights on what shopping in the new normal looks like in Australia.

Community first

McKinsey’s latest consumer-sentiment analysis showed that Australia is heading to a community-first society. The most obvious reason for this is border lockdowns made it difficult for orders to get through. But the McKinsey data showed it is more than that.

“The concept of community has changed. Consumers are not only looking for that physical connection, but they also want that localised digital connection as well with their community… It is also making sure that their values are reflected in your products or the technology you are using. That rise of social activism in the retail space is something that’s flooding in at this time,” National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said.

McKinsey stressed in its report that the Australian culture of “doing the right thing, looking after your mates, and being all in this together” has come to the fore in the face of the pandemic and that this behaviour is expected to continue in the next few years. In turn, many micro and small businesses are embracing a local area marketing approach, like utilising a PhyGital platform, to offer nearby customers and prospects deals, loyalty, rewards, and relevant content in real time. This comes as more consumers actively switch their spending to prioritise buying from local businesses and producers.

phone taking a photo of fruits for local area marketing

Waste nothing

While more consumers are shifting to locally-made, businesses are also re-evaluating their supply chains. The McKinsey research also showed that more than a quarter of Australian consumers say they pay more attention to what they consume and what impact it has. The research firm added that Australia might see consumers becoming “more mindful of the consequences of their choices” in a post-pandemic world.

“Hyper contextual promotion has a benefit from the sustainability point of view. Nearly 8% of EBITDA for groceries are eaten away by shrinkage – inventory that is not disposed of appropriately,” Imfree Founder and CEO Cris Dawes said. “If you can close that gap, you are doing a great thing for sustainability, you are serving your community because they are being inspired to engage with businesses who create value rather than waste. So there are many benefits with hyper contextual platforms that respond in real-time to help everyone to become more efficient and effective about what they want to consume.”

The latest studies showed Australians are showing a greater preference for shops, restaurants, and brands that feel local and sustainable. Consumers are more interested in value for money and product benefit for the social good. This also benefits retailers as this would drive a need for greater transparency and supply chain traceability. Prepare for a very different future and start creating a more relevant local area marketing strategy by signing up for free in this link.

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