Hyper-Local Tech Needed to Meet Customer Needs

26th January 2021

While many of us continue to shop online during the lockdown, Amazon’s true power is beginning to be witnessed and arguably not for the right reasons.

Here at Cuhu, we believe that shifting behaviours during the COVID-19 outbreak has meant that consumers are seeing the importance of shopping locally and there is greater awareness of supporting local business owners, rather than lining the pockets of some of America’s wealthiest retail & tech billionaires.

YouGov found that, as a result of coronavirus, 64% of people want to support local businesses and buy local products.  The Cuhu team believes this trend will materialise in full in 2021, predicting an ‘awakening’ as the country begins to return to normal following the winter lockdown. As non-essential retail is given the green light to reopen, Cuhu estimates a surge in community support, with shoppers keen to buy from smaller companies rather than the likes of Amazon and others.

While Amazon has spent millions developing their own mobile app to provide same and next day delivery, there is a  gap in the market for local retail to capitalize on consumers wanting delivery, pickup or online ordering in a quick and intuitive way like Amazon currently offers.

“Right now, there is a massive gap in the market for local apps which directly connect customers with local shops and stores across their area, such as bakeries, butchers, vintage fashion stores, and book shops, making it easier than ever for local consumers to support their local communities,” says Ste Martin, our Senior Software Engineer. “Small businesses have undoubtedly been hit hardest by lockdown and social distancing regulations, and a local focus is needed into what’s going to power local businesses into – and through – the new normal.”

Amazon emerged as the clear winner of the pandemic, growing its year on year sales and revenue substantially thanks to the widespread shift to online shopping. Amazon’s success has highlighted how the pandemic has targeted the ‘little guys’ significantly more than larger corporations, and the heightened awareness of this situation is playing a major role in influencing tomorrow’s buying behaviours. The increasing size and growing dominance of Amazon is spurring consumers to actively choose smaller, local alternatives.

While Amazon is certainly convenient, convenience is becoming less and less important. With the COVID-19 outbreak accelerating the shift to remote working – a by-product of the pandemic that isn’t expected to die out any time soon – there is a growing trend for workers to make better use of their former commute times, diving deeper into researching local businesses that could serve their needs. And so, according to Cuhu insight, there has never been a more important time for small businesses to adopt technology to power their business.

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