The pandemic has exposed the need for businesses both large and small to have the ability to be agile and responsive to customers behaviors, which literally shifted overnight when we were forced into lock down in March 2020.
Small businesses are just that – more agile, more nimble and can create that magical human connection like the bigger retailers just can’t. Right now, customers want to buy from brands which align with their values and ethics and they are finding that connection more and more with independent brands which is what’s driving the growth for them and we are seeing the larger retailers losing market share.
For customers, their screens have become a new way of connecting and shopping with brands, and for now this continues to be the new norm. With video shopping becoming ever more important in this new norm – it is the independents that are leading the way in terms of being able to react and find new ways of connecting with customers. With a wave of digital innovation in virtual retail experiences such as virtual shopping events, pop up shops and markets, fashion shows and styling appointments I can’t help thinking what’s next?!
For example, we have seen TV shopping making a comeback, and this week we have seen the launch of a new video shopping app in Japan which is getting a lot of attention with retailers! I’m certainly watching this space!
For now, virtual pop up events, including the Pop Up Bazaar, founded by Ami Rabheru, in April 2020 have been a life line for small businesses during the pandemic…and the support and love for ‘shopping small’ continues to get stronger.
“The Pop-Up Bazaar is no ordinary directory! It is a movement which is reinventing the way independent businesses sell and how customers discover new and exciting brands! We bring together a curated selection of makers, designers, retailers and boutiques all under one virtual roof to create an innovative shopping experience”
They have created a collaborative community not only with the businesses participating but also with customers wanting to support small businesses. Whilst they don’t offer tactile experience for customers as physical events do, virtual events are here to stay!
Having been in retail buying for 20 odd years, the one thing I know about customers – is that once they form new habits, it is very difficult to go back, so businesses will need to keep moving forward at the fast pace which customers are changing their habits to survive in this ever changing world.” AMI RABHERU
If you are a business and are interested in participating in the pop-up events, you can register right here.