E-commerce, a solution for local e-commerce?
The health crisis we have experienced has shaken our consumption habits and accelerated certain trends that were already developing before the pandemic. Thus, we have seen local e-commerce reach new records. According to the consulting firm Oliver Wyman, its growth in Europe tripled in 2020. In France, e-commerce represents 13.4% of retail trade in 2021, according to a study by FEVAD.
But in contrast to this great trend, we are also seeing the emergence of the return of localism. Indeed, the tendency to “consume local” and products “made in France” has picked up again with the pandemic. Consumers are looking for local brands with production in the country. But can these two apparently opposed tendencies merge?
Fashion made in France
According to Deloitte’s “State of the consumer tracker” report, in April 2021, 51% of French consumers want to consume more local products, even if that means paying a little more. This desire is part of a movement of more responsible consumption, already well established, which consists in consuming less but better. The confinement and restriction of travel have led part of the population to favor neighborhood shops (bakeries, butchers, etc.) and to rethink their way of consuming, more ecological, while in turn helping small businesses to relaunch their activity.
According to a study conducted by Fly Research for Mastercard, 45% of respondents feel more supportive of their local community after confinement.
Towards a more responsible and local e-commerce
While the e-commerce boom potentially represents a threat for brands whose main objective is proximity, digital has also been an essential resource for many local businesses in order to adapt to the economic consequences of the health crisis. (time restrictions, limited capacities,..).
Likewise, the implementation of initiatives such as online orders with in-store collection (Click and Collect) has enabled small businesses to combine e-commerce and proximity to maintain their activity, without losing the social link with their customers. clients. In addition, digitization has no negative impact on the values of local commerce (authenticity, quality, proximity, etc.). Ecommerce has the ability to improve the shopping experience and retain customers.
The use of digital technology, when it comes to strengthening local dynamics, can also participate in the implementation of local and sustainable actions. For example, in recent months, initiatives have been developed to promote local commerce. Among these, we can for example mention the offers and promotions platform Tiendeo.fr, which provides local businesses with a complete digitalization solution to improve their visibility by allowing consumers to find stores and offers at the same time. close to home.
In conclusion, we observe a strategic approach between e-commerce and local commerce, both considered for a long time as totally opposed and competitive. In reality, these two trends could well be complementary, provided that their interactivity is mastered. Thus, many local businesses are eager to enter a new era of connected commerce offering more effective services to attract and retain their customers.