CMO

Buy Aussie Now marketplace launches

Looking to harness the power of social media with a pitch to support local businesses, a new marketplace for Australian-made products has gone live

In a bid to help local businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions, a new marketplace for Australian-made and owned products has now launched.

Buy Aussie Now, which started as an Instagram page in mid-March as the nation prepared to shut down with the Coronavirus, has developed into a new platform to showcase local businesses.

It’s all about local, Australian brands and Buy Aussie Now CEO, Chris White, said. He wants Australian-supporting shopping to be a longer-term switch for the country.

“Let’s always make Aussies brands, business and products our first thought every time we shop and not just during difficult periods. This will support the nation, families, friends and local communities and keep jobs and investment here,” said White.

White acknowledged the ‘time is right’ element gives the platform the added raison d’etre, with the crisis putting renewed focus on Australian manufacturing and an understanding of the need to support local businesses affected by the COVID-19-led downturn.

“I think consumer sentiment now means people are open to change and also the technology is there for a self-service marketplace platform,” he said.

The site has more than 2000 small and medium businesses registered across eight launch categories - home and living, toys and education, apparel and footwear, jewellery and accessories, food and beverage, pets, skincare and beauty, and gifts. Additional categories will be unveiled in coming months.

“Strategically, our imperative is to get out there and encourage Australian businesses to register and that has been mainly a grassroots campaign with a little bit of digital advertising,” White explained to CMO. “Part of that has been working with media outlets and helping them get behind what is an important idea.

“It’s a values-led campaign and we’re going out and saying this is something really important and we’re trying to do something about it. And a campaign to get that story out there.”

A range of customer programs will be available, including the option to purchase gift cards and participate in a rewards and loyalty program. There will also be a new digital magazine, Australian Life, to come too. It’s all about being made for and by Australians and being loud and proud about this in the strategy and approach.

“The majority of businesses that have already signed up have something which is actually better value and typically is better suited to the needs of the local consumer. The problem is, there's no way to be able to go and compete where those credentials can be easily identified,” White told CMO.

To harness the power of connecting through social media, Buy Aussie Now will have weekly Instagram Live sessions with various entrepreneurs and businesses around the country to showcase their product, brand and manufacturing, and this will be developed further in its magazine and other content platforms.

The platform is free for businesses to register their products to a wider Aussie audience, and potentially overseas, to promote Australian goods to a wider audience. Australian businesses are only charged when they make a sale, and all non-for-profits in Australia, along with any Indigenous-owned businesses, will not be charged.

The site is also focusing on its blog as a way of telling the stories to consumers about the local brands on the site and has brought on lifestyle writers to bring that part of the site’s voice to life.

“The writers bring with them great credentials and they carry a passion for providing a voice for the businesses so that it's not just that the Australian-made product is good, but that it can be aspirational too,” White added.

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