Online craft fairs - the new normal

With the Government imposed lockdowns and new social distancing measures shaking up entire industries, many business have started selling online as consumers who might have looked to the high street, craft markets and events for their shopping three months ago are now setting their sights on the web.

Itís the intensification of a trend that was already in full force: the migration of commerce to online platforms and an evolving face of physical retail.

Now, however, eCommerce also acts as a lifeline for businesses to stay operational during times of lockdown. Many previously brick-and-mortar retailers have quickly had to pivot online to stay in business, and the craft markets have had to adapt quickly to respond to this changing environment.

But moving over to an exclusively digital marketplace is less than ideal for a number of reasons, take, for example, shopping for a candle, soap, or handmade confectionery? How do you browse stalls like you would at a live event, how do you smell and handle the goods to get that feeling about them, and how do you make those personal connections all craft makers love? Itís hoped that people will realise that shopping on line is not all itís cracked up to be, actually meeting the maker and handling the products is a far more satisfying shop.

Letís hope we get back to normal soon. But in the meantime, the alternative at home craft events are filling a gap that people are flocking to see and buy from.

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