During the past few months of this pandemic, one thing has remained constant: the importance of neighbors and community. In early April we shared our first Insights report that shared neighborhood trends and noted “In an era of social distancing, neighborliness is on the rise.” Since then, we’ve spent time understanding how neighbors see the world today. As the world looks ahead we see The Rise of Local continue to emerge through 5 phases:
Phase 1: Rely on Neighbors for Support
Kindness has become essential during Shelter in Place. Since February, there has been a 140% increase of meaningful connections among neighbors, from sending private messages to engaging in group conversations. Neighbors are an important source of information, they turn to each other to get updates on supplies, local business and public services. 46% of members believe their neighbors have had a positive impact on their community during this time.
With many out of work, neighbors are increasingly hiring neighbors for jobs around the home. 34% of neighbors are more likely to hire their neighbors for jobs around the home and conversations of jobs have increased significantly.
Phase 2: Reinvest in Home and Self
Routines have started to change as neighbors are spending more time at home. Neighbors have started to workout at home, cut their own hair and make their own face masks. Some of these trends are here to stay with 27% of people planning to exercise at home more frequently after the outbreak.
Exchanges on Nextdoor's For Sale & Free dipped at the beginning of the crisis. However engagement has now returned and is finding an increased baseline as neighbors buy and sell items from each other, especially home office equipment; including chairs, monitors and desks.
Phase 3: Reconnect with Community
After months of sheltering in place and self-isolation, the need for connection is strong. 83% of members are feeling overwhelmingly isolated from friends and family. 72% of members say they plan to frequent local businesses more often as we come out on the other side. But of crowd-based activities, neighbors will return to airline travel and live shows last.
Phase 4: Rethink Business as Usual
While neighbors are adjusting there are many activities they miss. We found that major U.S. cities were either primarily “Bar & Restaurant” cities, or “Salon & Spa” cities. Members in New York are eager for happy hours, while those in Dallas would rather head straight to the hair salon.
As neighbors have new needs, local businesses are pivoting to stay afloat. On average, respondents said their business lost about 25% of revenue as a result of COVID-19. 30% of local businesses have pivoted and changed the original products and services they offer.
More than 1 in 3 consumers have started using a new brand as a result of the innovative or compassionate way that brands responded to the pandemic. We’ve seen success for campaigns running on Nextdoor offering help.
Phase 5: Remain Loyal to Local
In the final phase, conversations have shifted towards the “next normal” with an emphasis on local. The trend of helping one another remains at the foundation of everything. Neighbors are cultivating a kinder world by organizing nightly claps for healthcare workers, leaving colorful chalk art creations, setting up neighborhood scavenger hunts, and more.
Despite these tough times, the #StrengthInNeighbors endures: 84% of Nextdoor members feel they have a neighbor they can rely on.
You can read the full Nextdoor Insights Report:#StrengthInNeighbors here. And check out our first report in the series In an era of social distancing neighborliness is on the rise, which discusses trends and changes in neighbor behavior during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Polls and internal Nextdoor data from 2020