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E-commerce is on the rise, but what do people buy?

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the rise of e-commerce. But we’ve not seen just a shift in HOW people buy, but also WHAT they buy and that is; authentic and local brands and products. A global survey from Ernst & Young found that  42% of respondents believe that the way they shop will fundamentally change as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. When it comes to brands and products, 34% of consumers indicate that they would pay more for local products, 25% for trusted brands and 23% for ethical products. If we have a look at China, which is a step ahead we see research from Glocalities which confirms this, as there is a big increase in trust related to domestic companies during the pandemic from 55% to 70%.

„..When it comes to brands and products, 34% of consumers indicate that they would pay more for local products..“

It means people not just buy more digitally, but they also long for more local and authentic brands. Brands like Instacard or Takeaway and other delivery services have not just seen an increase in demand, pointing to the fact that people buy more online. They’ve also experienced a growth for local offerings. Big retailers like the Dutch Albert Heijn is now promoting its local products in the shelf and the European Sustainable Triodos Bank promotes investing in local companies. 

Local markets - People long for simple and stable truths. They long for the known and what feels close to home.
Local markets – People long for simple and stable truths. They long for the known and what feels close to home.

The word authenticity might sound familiar because it has been around for decades. However, being authentic is more important than ever. Why? Because in times of crisis, people experience rising levels of uncertainty. One way to cope with this uncertainty is what social psychologist refer to as ‘turning inwards’. This means people long for simple and stable truths. They long for the known and what feels close to home. We’ve seen the effects of this consumer preference in many industries as people buy more local offerings. At TrendsActive we’ve also seen this happening in the crisis of 2008.

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