The pandemic times and limited scope of business and daily activities have changed the face of business for an indefinite time to come. Seemingly ever-lasting remote shift, managers and business owners are adjusting fast to consumer habits that are almost in direct contrast to everything they’ve known before.
This is hardly surprising given that 68% of US consumers report changes to their habits, while 52% have seen significant financial shifts. And, out of the ashes rises one seemingly positive rumour – the fact that local business is back in favour.
For small business owners, this is music to the ears, and figures showing that 46 percent are shopping from closer to their home seem to back this point. Sadly, once you take a closer look, it’s obvious that the issue isn’t quite that clear cut.
Local Business Love – A Huge Lie
Pandemic life has most definitely led to the rise of the local seller, but the change isn’t worth shifting business infrastructure for just yet. In fact, by dropping international focuses, businesses could soon join the nearly 100,000 establishments that have had to close their doors of late. In this sense, the so-called ‘local business focus’ is one of the biggest lies to come out of 2020. And, we’re going to look at the two main reasons why.
1. Convenience matters more than ever
Convenience has always been a business 101 but never has that been more the case. In fact, this is the main reason big companies like Amazon are enjoying the best benefits of changing shopping habits with doubling quarterly profits, COVID costs aside according to the Financial Times.
Consumers are certainly focusing on getting everything they need in one place for easy shipping and payments. As such, even small businesses need to think about their stock, shipping, and the smoothest online shopping options such as a payment gateway that makes even global payment possible. This way, they can bring the ease of even global big business to a local shop, ensuring the best of both sides of the pandemic business coin.
2. Cost is still a significant factor
Remember, 52 percent of the US consumers have experienced financial changes of some kind this past year, with most seeing at least some decrease in income. Convenience aside, then cost is coming up trumps as a consumer focus. A local business that’s charging extra will certainly struggle against a big-budget option like Amazon or Walmart.
In this sense, a local focus could prove damaging. After all, the smaller your business focus, the more you’ll need to increase prices to cover outgoings. By comparison, spreading your business wings as far as possible means increased sales that can see you enjoying:
- Cheaper wholesale prices
- Bulk shipment expenses
- A larger distributed team
- And more
Small business revival – How?
Local business is coming back, but the harsh reality is that there’s much more to success in 2021 than meets the eye. Local business simply doesn’t mean a shop on the corner that serves only nearby residents any longer. Rather, local sellers should start utilising the digital mediums such as social media, e-commerce webshop, and more to reach their customers digitally. Even the giants including Walmart launched online portals for users to make purchases and get groceries, electronics and home supplies delivered at their doorsteps.
According to a report by Forbes, people are already spending more time online than ever before, and internet usage has surged by 50-70 per cent.
According to Nikhil Arora, Managing Director & Vice-President of GoDaddy India,
“Small businesses have long been recognized as an essential source of employment, and as being vital for the Indian economy as a whole,”
“Small businesses need to maintain a positive outlook and remain hopeful about reviving their business or kick-starting things again, if need be. By leading the way, innovating, remaining agile, and adapting to emerging trends, small business owners can stay ahead of the disruption. With more government initiatives, seed investments, and a positive outlook, businesses can be positioned to flourish in ways not seen before.”– Nikhil quoted on the Financial Express