Time and time again we hear from business owners that you should shop local. But, why? And what does it mean to shop locally?
Shopping at locally owned businesses simply means more money is kept within your community because business owners often source from their local service providers. By doing so, this helps grow businesses and the employment of local people.
However, the way we shop has changed drastically over the last 10 or so years seeing a giant jump in online shopping. There are some industries such as grocery where bricks and mortars are still the favoured option. The stats make it clear that people are not going to stop shopping local, but it is evident that Australians are embracing the benefits of an online marketplace.
But, in saying that, there are also significant stats that suggest that most Australians would prefer to shop locally…
Westpac Banking made a media release full of results indicating that local business and local shopping is the preferred solution for Australians. They found that 46% of Australians say that purchasing in local businesses is one of the most important decisions they can make in order to strengthen their local economy. Where, "53 per cent of Australians support local businesses as they provide a more personalised service."
It’s important to also consider that shopping local is everything from eating at a restaurant. Buying from locally supplied grocers, shopping at your local furniture store… really anything where you can see some form of a local supply chain.
However, as great and as eye opening these statistics presented by Westpac are, there is the other side of the equation. And that is how many Australians are shopping online?
The ACMA begun conducting research on this several years ago. Finding drastic changes for regional Australians. Who would have thought that 8 years ago, only 61% of Australians living in non-urban areas had a broadband connection, and now just about everyone is on the internet…?
They had also discovered that 61% of Australians use the internet for buying and selling online. When you compare these statistics to that of Westpac Banking, it is evident that whilst Australians believe it is important to shop local, the majority still use the internet to buy online.
There are so many considerations to make on this topic and shopping local isn’t just as simple as “shop local, it will boost the local economy”. There are countless underlying issues to why people are or are not buying within their local marketplace. In saying that, what we've stated above are some key influencing statistics that spark alot of thought on the matter.