Have you noticed how local stores are gaining popularity? From fresh local produce to locally made arts and crafts. We are turning our heads and hearts towards our own communities. Even if this trend was visible before the pandemic started, the pandemic and its consequences likely significantly impacted embracing it. Here is what it means for jewelers, jewelry stores, goldsmiths, local jewelry companies, and jewelry designers.
In a post-Covid world, we are trying to unravel what the pandemic changed for us. And with this, how we make our purchasing decisions. It’s true that local produce, under the increasing attention for sustainability, has gained a much deserved warm bath. We turn to local farmer markets; many farmers have a small store or a vending machine facing the road. We see that delis and other fresh produce retailers promote locally produced veggies and fruits like never before.
During the pandemic, we have come to understand also the value and importance of our own communities. To support local businesses and jobs close to our homes. According to Accenture, a global consulting firm, 80% of respondents felt more connected to their local community during the pandemic, and 88% think that this feeling will last.
A huge opportunity! From an increased appreciation for local arts, culture, and crafts to the chance for jewelry stores to focus on their local activities within the community.
For a jewelry store, I would imagine that they have more opportunities than ever before to connect with their audience and create value by playing a more active role. How? By showing more who they are and what they stand for and relating that to local clubs, events, communities, values, history, or special people. Also, working together with local micro-influencers can spread the word about their activities and so on.
There is a huge opportunity to show their work as genuinely local for jewelry designers, goldsmiths, and other craftsmen and -women. Emphasizing the importance of slow consumerism. Of meaningful spending at a local artist.
Many goldsmiths and small jewelry businesses tend to focus on a broad audience. Trying to reach ‘’everyone’’. It could be a great idea to play the local card ( local sometimes even means national or regional) more often and connect with communities nearby. An art lovers club, a network organization, other local businesses with whom you could collaborate, and so on and so forth.
While we become more socially conscious, we see consumers care more about knowing a company and its values and vision. Stores and jewelry professionals could use storytelling techniques to create more awareness about their products or services directly to the community. As mentioned before, by using local micro-influencers, hyper-local marketing, and advertising, and sure: social media. What role does the store play in the well-being of the community?
Supporting local businesses also gives consumers the idea of doing good. According to retail expert Mark Pellington in Wired magazine, landlords, who have seen large department stores leave the high streets, could seize the opportunity to subdivide existing empty units into smaller places for short-term rental options. And he is right because small businesses working with local artisans are increasingly popular, and they need a small flexible rental.
For some consumers, the value of buying local is about making a green choice. It’s not necessarily true, much depends on the circumstances, but buying local means less traveling of people and goods.
If a business is a local operator, now is the time to shout it out. Engage by underlining the value of community or the value of local economy and jobs and supporting local families and entrepreneurs.
The localism trend is here to stay, and it’s everywhere. 87% of Chinese consciously buy local (in a broader sense; national), and 81% of Italians check if the products they buy are indeed made in Italy. 42% of the respondents to research firm Kantar said they are more conscious about the provenance of the products. We are a little more proud of our national products. While before, it seems entirely rational to order a brooch from Ali Express while, say, living in the Netherlands. Now many think twice about it and prefer to check the provenance of what they buy.
Pre-Covid, we noticed the increasing popularity of conglomerates and big brand names.
Social media helped many smaller brands gain momentum and fans through content on their product. They share values and stories about their products and connect directly with their online communities. Now, post-Covid, there is Localism. This trend will help build more excellent communities and more connectedness among people living in the same place or area. Local jewelers, goldsmiths, ateliers, galleries, and brands could ask themselves this: how can I be of value to my community. The answer to this question should be shared abundantly with their communities.