Impact of Covid-19 on Local Shopping

Published by LoveLocal on April 4, 2023

What started in the Chinese city of Wuhan as a small outbreak in December 2019, turned the whole world upside down within 3 short months. Now there’s only before and after- life before the Coronavirus Pandemic and life after the Coronavirus pandemic!

It’s not unknown to anyone in any corner of the world that the virus changed everything, some things for the better and some for the worse, and there’s no going back.

Talking about business, well, Covid-19 has affected every single industry and a very significant change can be observed in the retail industry. Be it the small local retailers or multinational companies, the virus didn’t spare anybody!

During lockdowns, when people all over the world stayed home to protect themselves and their loved ones, business owners struggled to make sales as nobody was used to this new way of life. Some very quickly adapted their ways of conducting business and are now more successful than ever before, while the others who couldn’t cope up with the changes, lost their customers somewhere in the middle of the mess.

During the pandemic lockdowns, even though essentials stores such as local grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. were allowed to operate, they had a bunch of strict protocols to follow in order to limit the chances of contracting the virus. Rules such as allowing only a limited number of customers, reducing business hours, accepting only digital payment, etc. were enforced by the government for every store. All of these collectively made it difficult for retailers to carry on their business. On the other hand, customers also feared going out and bringing home the deadly virus which had no cure.

Almost 3 years later, the lockdowns have now all been lifted and life has started to go back to being “normal”. The normal we were all used to at one point- life without masks, packed restaurants, cinema halls working in full capacity, busy shopping malls, and so on! But over the last three years, we also formed some new habits, a new normal. For example, we have started to like staying home a bit more, found comfort in online shopping, and started spending money a little more consciously. And as a consumer we might not realize this but these new habits of ours have a tremendous effect on business, especially retail.

Since 2020, innumerable businesses have gone digital in order to keep up with the changing times. Consumers who initially had no choice but to shop online during the quarantine period are now doing it by choice. And because of the changes in the ways of shopping and spending habits, online sales have shot up for all types of businesses. In fact, do you know that as compared to 2019, 76% consumers spend more in online shopping in 2020?

Another significant change that we can observe in consumers is that they now prefer to shop locally, especially majority of the Indian customers have started their #VocalForLocal journey. Shifting from big business to small local ones is not just popular but it’s very much in trend too. "Shop local" is more than a slogan in the COVID-19 consumer marketplace; it is a symbol of solidarity. In fact, according to a Nextdoor survey, 72% of the participants believe they will shop from local businesses more frequently after the pandemic. While this is an advantage for the local retailers, given the “new normal” of online shopping, this can only benefit them if they can meet their customers where they are- online, at the comfort of their home!

The problem arises when given their limited experience and funds, small local retailers struggle to bring their business online. In 2020, when a few thousand local retailers were facing this issue, LoveLocal was launched in India to help them out.

LoveLocal, an Indian business launched in 2020 helps in digitizing local Indian retailers to power the neighborhood shopping experience of the future. In simpler terms, it is a platform where you can get daily essentials online from your trusted local retail shops. Be it your daily grocery, medicines, fruits & vegetables, sweets & farsans, dairy products, etc. LoveLocal has them all under one roof- at the top of your fingers!

While it benefits the consumers by helping them get their necessary products sitting at the comfort of their home, it helps the local retailers in innumerable ways as well. For example, local retailers can now easily reach more potential customers and increase their sales by registering on the LoveLocal app. LoveLocal also helps them with promoting their store, accepting digital payments, generating & analyzing reports, strategy creation & implementation, etc. In short, it’s just what every local retailer needs in today’s Digital India!

April 4, 2023
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