PayPal Australia and Buy From The Bush have joined forces to launch a new online marketplace to showcase rural Australian small businesses in time for Christmas. The expanded partnership aims to build stronger connections between bush businesses and Australians in cities and suburbs across the country.
The new Buy From The Bush Marketplace is an easy-to-use, safe and secure gateway to discover and buy beautiful and unique products while supporting rural small businesses. It comes just one year after the October 2019 launch of Buy From The Bush and more than 250 small businesses have already signed up to significantly increase their customer base and sales.
While Buy From The Bush already has a 450,000-strong following on social media, the large majority of participating small businesses don’t have their own website, let alone one with the ability to accept sales. At a time when eCommerce has never been more important, the new BFTB Marketplace gives these businesses a safe, efficient, and permanent home to sell their products online for the first time.
PayPal Australia CEO Paul Ryan [feature image left] said: “Following a historically challenging year for Australia’s rural small businesses, we reached out to Grace Brennan, founder of Buy From The Bush and asked how we could help. Grace explained her goal was to create long-term economic opportunity for rural small businesses – which is aligned with our own values and mission. We then mobilised a taskforce of engineers and experts who worked closely with Buy From The Bush to design and build the new marketplace.
“I feel privileged that PayPal has the opportunity to work with Buy From The Bush to establish a permanent eCommerce platform for the BFTB movement and create a stronger connection between the city and the bush. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and are even more vital in rural communities, creating jobs and helping towns and families thrive. When they succeed, we all succeed.”
PayPal is the first official sponsor of the movement and the partnership brings together PayPal’s eCommerce expertise and BFTB’s network of authentic bush businesses. A 100 per cent Australian project, the design and build of the new Buy From The Bush Marketplace was sponsored by PayPal Australia and is built on Australian-developed technology from Marketplacer.
The BFTB Story So Far
Launched in October 2019 as a social media campaign, Buy From The Bush has evolved into a nationwide movement that promotes the products and services from rural small businesses across Facebook and Instagram (~455,500 followers).
Last year, PayPal Australia partnered with Buy From The Bush to feature a directory of twenty rural small businesses on the PayPal website and promote them via PayPal’s marketing program ahead of the festive season. Many of the businesses reported a significant increase in sales from their participation in Buy From The Bush with one in five businesses (19 per cent) reporting that they began selling to international customers. A further two in five businesses (39 per cent) started shipping interstatei. Buy From The Bush has also extended its brand into the luxury accommodation space by launching Stay In The Bush in November 2019.
The movement champions regional Australian women in particular, with 97 per cent of businesses involved being female-owned. Four out of five Buy From The Bush businesses are sole traders and 81 per cent are run as a side-business to supplement a primary income or business.
Buy From The Bush founder Grace Brennan [feature image right] said: “The resilience of our bush communities and businesses across Australia has been inspiring in the face of devastating drought, bushfires and now the ongoing effects of COVID-19. One year on after launching Buy From The Bush, the movement has created real relationships between strangers, injected hope into isolated communities, created jobs and undoubtedly saved bush businesses.
“So many bush businesswomen have told me that online visibility has transformed their hobbies and side hustles into enterprises worthy of investment, especially as the drought, and then COVID-19 dried up their family’s regular income.
“We are thrilled to be strengthening our partnership with PayPal. I can’t believe that just twelve weeks from our kick-off meeting with PayPal we’re now at the point of launching a beautiful eCommerce site ready for the Christmas shopping season.”
Online strategy more important than ever for Australian small businesses
Ryan said: “PayPal’s mission and vision is that all people should have the opportunity and ability to participate in the global economy. We are excited to empower a purpose-driven business like Buy From the Bush with the technology needed to digitally transform and expand economic opportunities for small businesses in regional and rural Australia. We want to ensure these amazing entrepreneurs have the digital tools and skills they need for their mission – to drought-proof the bush economy.”
COVID-19 has brought new consumers online, eager to buy local products. The recent PayPal 2020 eCommerce Indexiii notes an emerging preference to shop local as Australians look to support homegrown businesses and brands.
The research found that almost 40 per cent of Australians say they are consciously supporting local businesses to help them recover from the pandemic and this preference to buy local is likely to continue beyond the crisis, with nearly half (46 per cent) saying they’ll purchase more from local businesses, and two in five (39 per cent) saying they’ll purchase fewer products that need to be shipped from overseas post-COVID-19.iv
PayPal Australia will be supporting the new BFTB Marketplace with marketing activity throughout the 2020 festive season and to the end of 2021. This support will include promotion and communications to PayPal Australia’s active customer base of more than 8.5 million Australians as well as seasonal campaigns.