Due to the economic impact of recent lockdowns, more Kiwis are increasingly engaging with the “Support Local” movement to help local businesses thrive during these hard times.

A research report from MYOB says that nearly a quarter of Kiwis claim they now visit local shops more often than they did before the pandemic to extend their support to local businesses. The survey also found that in a given week, over three-quarters (77%) of consumers now always or often shop local. 

Retailer with customer in shop
Given the support offered by the buying public, small businesses have the opportunity to leverage this and overcome some of the financial challenges they are facing. Below outlines some general actions that any small business owner can take to engage the local community:

Take to social media

Your local community can only help support your business if they know where you are and what you are offering. Social media is a great way to connect with your customer base and push the importance of the goods and services you offer as well as any exclusive deals. A report from Xero says that during the pandemic, 27% of NZ small businesses took to online marketing to increase their engagement with customers.

Offer more payment options

According to a report from Payments NZ, 60% of Kiwis are likely to always use contactless payments for reasons including convenience, simplicity & hygiene. All Smartpay terminals come ready to accept Contactless payments. Your bank can advise on the costs for enabling this feature.

Offer an alternative collection service

Even during the lockdown (depending on your business), goods can be provided in a Covid safe by way using a click and collect service and local contactless deliveries.

By demonstrating compliance and that you take your customers’ safety seriously, these alternate collection services are a great way to show your flexibility and willingness to assist your customers’ needs, in turn, drawing them back to your business to increase spending.

Create loyalty programs

Retail NZ’s report says that 46% of Kiwi consumers would be further encouraged to support local businesses if they offered loyalty programs or member rewards. Loyalty programs encourage consumer loyalty and help improve the customer experience.

When customers feel valued, they are likely to return as well as spread the word about your business. Offering discounts on repeat or high volume purchases, providing rewards such as free goods or services and rewarding customers on birthdays can be some of the places to start with a loyalty program.

Given customers are actively wanting to support their local community, implementing the tips mentioned above, can help increase your business offering and survival during these trying times.
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