Research shows that more than 50 per cent of Kiwis will change how they shop after lockdown with these new preferences are expected to last for years to come.
New Zealanders are now more than ever wanting to buy local and support local businesses - that is, if the price is right, a survey conducted by business consultancy firm Rutherford has found.
Being a New Zealand-owned business has become an important factor when it comes to making a purchase, particularly for hospitality businesses, the survey of more than 500 respondents found.
The research asked respondents to rate the importance of different factors that influence their choices when banking, shopping online for clothes, at restaurants, cafes and supermarkets. In all of those categories, being a New Zealand business or the product being NZ-grown or made was found to have become more important for consumers after the Covid-19 regulations loosened compared to what they were before the pandemic.
Businesses that were doing a better job socially and environmentally were also seen in a better light, the research found.
Graham Ritchie, chief executive of Rutherford, said the findings suggested Kiwis would be more inclined to shop locally and support local businesses long-term to help to reboot the economy.
"Half of New Zealanders are making a deliberate choice to shop local coming out of the lockdown ... and 70 per cent of those people are expected to make those changes for years or permanently, that's significant," Ritchie told the Herald.
"If you think back to Global Financial Crisis and behavioural changes that came out, people made those decisions for two, three, four years but people here think they are going to last a lot longer."
On social media between January and April 2020, there has been an average of 176 conversations per day about local and ethical businesses. This volume is increasing by about one additional conversation per day, the research found.
"It's almost like that 'Be kind' ethos that has been fostered by the pandemic ... has opened people's consideration set to the value and importance of those things as they have had a chance in lockdown to sit down and reconsider."
This could be linked to the border lockdown and that meaning that the country would be spending more time within New Zealand and local businesses won't be able to do as much trade outside of the country, Ritchie said.
Despite the rises in importance of local, price remains the number one factor when considering a purchase. Price and quality remains the key drivers of online shopping and clothing purchases.
Supermarkets are likely to see a rise in New Zealand-made and organic products and local cafes and restaurants are likely to see a large boost in support.
The research suggests that businesses that want to speed their recovery following lockdown might want to consider marketing based on their affiliation with local communities — or at least position themselves as a "Kiwi" business.
Florence Van Dyke, co-founder of drinks company Chia Sisters, said her business had experienced a influx in Kiwis wanting to support local businesses.
Chia Sisters experienced a 70 per cent decrease in its sales when cafes closed under alert level 4 lockdown. When it shifted to e-commerce sales, Van Dyke said the business saw a huge surge in sales, which now make up 50 per cent of regular sales.
Previously, just 2 per cent of sales were through its website.
"The surge we saw was so overwhelming and surprising," Van Dyke said.
"We could tell from the people that were buying and the notes that they were sending us that it was mainly from New Zealanders that were wanting to help local companies.
"It's heartening that in a time of hardship - we know that a lot of Kiwis are struggling at the moment - but it really feels that they have the backs of small New Zealand businesses."
Jemma Whiten, group marketing director of sustainability, projects and communications Ecostore, said the cleaning products company had noticed a desire from the community to pull together and help each other out.
It had also experienced increased sales from the domestic market.
"When there is a very big moment of change in people's lives it prompts people to reconsider how they live and what they buy - that's exactly what we're seeing now," Whiten said.
"New Zealand is so good at coming together when people take a knock and communities are aware that there a number of people doing it hard and harder than they were before.
"Our global economic model is partially broken right now so the ability to produce in New Zealand and supply to New Zealand consumers will be more important than it has been of late. There is a huge amount of opportunity for New Zealand out of this."