We recently ran a survey to ask people what they thought about the Makerhood concept and the ideas which underpin it. In this post, we’ll provide some of the key feedback we got from the 106 people who completed the online survey. You can also see some nice graphs / more detailed results here.
Why this mattered to us
The survey has helped to reinforce much of what we have learnt from previous offline research; reflecting attitudes which show a strong interest in local goods, local issues, handmade/crafts, and environmental concerns arising from how people shop – and what they buy.
But it has also given us a strong steer about how these attitudes might manifest themselves via a local website. Your feedback and ideas are therefore integral to refining the vision for Makerhood, as well as the features the full website (launching soon!) will offer.
Conclusion 1: Lots of support towards buying and selling local goods
- 100% respondents said they are interested in buying local goods
- 39% were interested in selling things they made
The key reasons for wanting to “buy local” included:
- supporting the community
- reducing environmental impact
- supporting local economy
- encouraging creativity locally
There was also a widespread belief that local products were often more interesting, fresher, unique, and often had a strong story behind them. Respondents were also keen on the idea of having a face-to-face relationship with a real person, which they saw as the anti-thesis of department stores/supermarkets, mass production, and the “throw-away”
Conclusion 2: Local means different things to different people
- 72% defined local as goods “made in their neighbourhood”
- 72% also defined local as “goods made in your town”. (People could choose more than one option.)
- Only 18% agreed that “made in the UK” constituted local.
Where we gave people space to say more, some felt that local should be:
- “within 1 mile of where I live”
- all of Lambeth
- London and its surrounding environs
Views varied for a number of reasons, including a recognition that some products are hard to make in London, such as dairy or certain agricultural items. But, generally speaking, the consensus seemed to be “buy local” or “as close to local” as you can.
Conclusion 3: Buying local can be difficult, and this prevents people from doing so (even when they want to)
Around 75% said they didn’t buy as much locally as they’d like to (only 6% said they do), primarily because of the problem of finding local products. This of course is where Makerhood comes in!
Main reasons for not buying local goods:
- I don’t know where to look (55%)
- Cost (38%)
- Time (33%)
- Choice (32%)
The results also suggested that many people try to shop from small local providers / shops but they are unsure about how much is actually made locally vs. simply being transported from other areas. It’s a moot point.
Conclusion 4: Makerhood Brixton can play a role in supporting local makers and community needs
When we asked users how they might use a local online marketplace, the overwhelming response was to buy gifts (84%).
One-off purchases such as furniture (65%) and everyday necessities like food and toiletries (56%) were also popular.
However, it was clear that community and social relationships are also an important part of this mix.
- 84% told us they would use Makerhood to find out what’s going on in the area
- 57% wanted to find out about the people who make things (so descriptions and stories are important part of the marketplace)
Conclusion 5: Frequency of use will depend on products
What Makerhood offers, both in terms of choice and quality, are clearly key issues for potential buyers, but in principle the majority of respondents suggested that they would use the site once a month (38%) or once a week (31%).
What happens next
We are going to continue to pore over what you’ve told us, and of course we also have a number of upcoming sessions with potential sellers, which will offer us some great opportunities to garner further feedback and ideas.
We’re aware that the survey isn’t statistically representative due to small size and the likely bias among respondents towards supporting local goods compared to average population. But we think it’s a fascinating and useful snapshot nonetheless.
Thanks again to everyone who took part – and do keep those ideas coming!
If you are a maker, grower or artist and would like to join in, come to Makers’ Meetings