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Bricks not clicks

The last 15 months has seen online shopping take off.  However, a new study by Deloitte Digital shows that the move during the pandemic to online shopping has hit a real-life brick wall. Consumers now want to spend their money with people rather than faceless brands.

We are not here to criticise those who buy carpet online but what we would say is that buying a carpet is quite a complex purchase what with the measuring, estimating, treatment of floors etc, not to mention what happens if something is wrong with the carpet.

A far more salient, and compelling point, we would argue, is the need to support one’s local shops.  Local independent retailers are good for local economies and mental and physical health (as research has shown). They are places for human contact and, furthermore, they are invariably shops and people who are linked to their communities and do community things because the community is in their DNA. Seven in ten consumers say shopping locally makes them feel happier compared to online.

In the Deloitte survey, almost half of those surveyed said they prefer to shop on their local high street. Libby Cousins of Deloitte said: “During lockdown consumers used local shops and services out of necessity. We’re now seeing that they are using them out of choice. Whether it is due to the personal service, the quality of products or the sense of giving back to the local community, it is likely that these businesses will continue to benefit from a long-term increase in customer loyalty.”

Sounds good and very sensible to us. Local independent retailers are the lifeblood of their communities and, we would argue, are worth supporting.