Building On New Customer Behaviour: Localisation
Off the back of our recent webinar, #RetailWithApadmi – a session focused on pandemic-driven new customer behaviour – our Chief Strategy Officer Marcus Hadfield and retail strategist Jean Pierre Lincoln dissected what retailers need to do to not only keep up with an ongoing demand for products, but also consider care, convenience and communication in their approach.
Building on Marcus’ and Jean Pierre’s customer behaviour insights, an interesting topic that arose throughout the webinar was the growing trend of localisation.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of this topic though, if you missed out on our new customer behaviour webinar on the 19th November 2020, we have you covered with a quick rundown of the key points:
- Covid has brought on a period of unprecedented change within the retail market
- Consumers are considering new brands and forms of shopping (e.g. eCommerce, mCommerce and vCommerce)
- Localisation is a growing trend – more on that below!
- There are now three core priorities to address new customer behaviour in retail (both online and physical); care, convenience and communication
- Post-Covid looks positive for retail as the value of real-world shopping will increase
- Shoppers will seek more reassurance about their safety after the pandemic
- Brands will need to innovate to meet with new customer behaviour and demands
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And now back to what we’re here to talk about….
The rise of localisation
One of the themes Jean Pierre pulled out from customer behaviour during the pandemic was localisation. This term has come to mean a lot of things across the digital landscape, but in this case, Jean Pierre was referring to customers actively choosing to shop with local businesses and support their community.
We’ve seen several big brands appeal to localisation throughout the pandemic, from Jean Pierre’s example of Alepa, to the recent Google review adverts starring Anthony Joshua and Sheridan Smith. RetailWeek recently stated that the ‘golden age of retail localisation beckons’ as both small stores like the Co-op and independent retailers have seen surprising growth throughout the pandemic, which is projected to continue as we move into the future.
Technology and localisation
Pre-Covid technology was seen as the enemy of the independent retailer, as the boom in eCommerce robbed the high street of footfall.
However, we’ve recently seen technology empower small businesses on an unprecedented scale, allowing them to set up inexpensive click-and-collect services, or organise logistics and create an eCommerce revenue stream to support their physical business overnight.
We believe that the recent applications of technology through the pandemic could start a wider trend, allowing even the smallest independent businesses to access tools that were previously reserved for only the largest chains and tech giants.
Global brands, local focus
As smaller independent businesses are adopting new technologies, we’re also seeing a transformation in big businesses. The focus on localisation and the importance of key workers throughout the pandemic has strengthened customer relationships with their local branches of even the largest chains.
There are lots of ways big businesses can appeal to localisation, but a tech-led approach is sure to tick the three consumer priorities from Jean-Pierre’s presentation:
- Care – Tech solutions are safe solutions, allowing customers to interact with your business through their own personal devices
- Convenience – As much as localisation is important to customers, they may struggle to engage with a physical process if it feels like a hassle. By using a digital platform, you can ensure the customer’s journey is easy
- Communication – Technology empowers businesses to create customer relationships that feel perfectly tailored to the user, from simple naming personalisation, to remembering more complex preferences
Technology can play a major role in this transformation, as we saw with Alepa and their ‘Block Wish’ concept. We think that the strongest companies post-pandemic will be those who create a digital retail offering that’s tailored to the local market of each outlet, respecting local culture and businesses – and new customer behaviour!