Helping to keep real and virtual business doors open
Like the way Australians have been going out of their way to consciously support local businesses, especially online, to help keep real and virtual business doors open well into the future.
To help understand how online habits and demands have changed as a result of COVID-19 – like attitudes and behaviours towards local businesses – we recently commissioned the nbn™ Behavioural Change Survey.
Commissioned by nbn and conducted by Venture Insights, the research also explored the online changes and demands to working from home, and lifestyle and health – and which are likely to continue as part of the ‘new normal’.
And the feelings towards those businesses? The research clearly shows a groundswell of support for ‘buying local’.
Buying local here to stay
Seventy per cent of those surveyed revealed they now consciously support local businesses online, while 49 per cent of respondents’ households have increased online shopping during the COVID-19 crisis.
Additionally, 70 per cent of those surveyed would like to do more to support local businesses but felt they had a limited online presence.
“The challenges businesses have faced as a result of this crisis are many and significant,” says Paul Tyler, nbn's Chief Customer Officer – Business.
“However, this research highlights a unique opportunity for local businesses to harness new levels of consumer goodwill and demand online.
“An online presence can expose businesses to a world market, but the support of local consumers also offers an important opportunity.”
One million and counting
With one million business customers now connected to the nbn™ network, the ability to ‘buy local’ is being helped along by fast broadband.
“Our research highlights that consumers are shopping more online and consuming from local businesses as a result of their experience with COVID-19 social distancing measures,” says Paul.
“We hope that this sentiment can become an opportunity for local businesses to adapt and emerge from this time in a position of strength.”
Similar research conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) reveals many businesses are already adapting their operations and making the shift to online.
“Our national business conditions survey found that many businesses have adapted their operations to continue trading during the pandemic crisis, with almost a third expanding their online presence,” says James Pearson, Chief Executive Officer at ACCI.
And a quarter of businesses have changed their mode of delivery or have diversified into new product lines and services.
“It’s certainly encouraging to hear that so many Australians are eager to support the local businesses in their community, and this should provide even more incentive for businesses to adapt.”