Fan of Local staff writer, Jesse Hill
In a post-COVID-19 world, will the shift to shopping local continue? That’s the question on a lot of people’s minds, especially our community store owners.
While some businesses have thrived in the lockdown environment, there is no question that many more have been adversely affected. In the face of adversity, we’ve seen some of our beloved businesses go out of business. We’ve also been lucky enough to see some of our communities rally behind their locals. A number of our beloved neighbourhood establishments have bent or crumbled under pressure during the pandemic. This has the side effect of focusing more attention on shopping locally. While the increased attention has been welcome, it is really only effective if people continue to focus on their local shops going forward.
What Happened to Shopping Local?
To understand what we must do to keep the attention on local businesses, we first must examine where/when the shift away from local occurred.
In the last 40 years, we have seen the cost of living go up, leading to the need for multi-income homes and longer work hours, as well as to less free time. Technological advances have replaced setting time aside to shop with a few mouse clicks. Large corporations have leveraged their buying power to get mass quantities of goods at a lower price, and so on.
How to Keep Attention on Local Business
This new economic climate has created a few trends that business owners can seize to keep the public interest on local business and shopping local as cities start to open up.
Taking advantage of Fan of Local’s listing services, promoting FanOfLocal.com through linkbacks and social media mentions, and participation in the Fan of Local Facebook group are great ways to interact with others. These free services keep you up on trends and help support your local business community.
One thing that we’ve seen fairly early on is that many companies, big and small, have realized that they can still operate with their employees at home. This, on top of an ever-increasing work-from-home environment in general, leaves residents in their communities instead of commuting elsewhere.
For this reason among others, people have begun to appreciate the higher-quality products their locals have to offer rather than the cheap items that inundate the online marketplace. And that means more focus on shopping local!
More importantly, businesses have become increasingly aware of the importance of an online presence in today’s world.
How to Become Current
While a lot of businesses have expanded their offerings to the online world, there are still many pitfalls, from outsourcing services to simply not getting your message across. Additionally, many business owners are starting to think about future-proofing their businesses in order to be better prepared for further problems. Maybe you are considering taking your products online or simply adding another revenue stream.
These are all manageable situations. There are many service providers, such as ClickDuo, which provide free e-commerce sites and consultation. This is to help the smaller guys take control of their online business the right way. Send us a message and let’s get started! For more information, visit ClickDuo.com.