From ethics to aesthetics, shopping local comes with a bounty of benefits.
Working from home and a growing preference for digital transactions have catapulted our shift to online shopping. In some instances, this has made it really difficult for small business owners to compete. Luckily, local sales have also come to the forefront of our minds and hearts. With nationwide campaigns and local initiatives calling consumers to keep it local, hope remains strong for shopping small and shopping local. As the owner or leader of a local business, how can I have more local sales? Focus on these 3 areas right now to help drive local sales as a business owner.
To distinguish your business amongst competition, ensure you’re accessible. When the high streets are closed or some customers don’t feel comfortable coming to you, how do you go to them?
1. Local sales & looking the part
With 63% of shopping occasions beginning online, it’s not enough to simply be local anymore. Even in instances where your customers buy in-store, they will have, more often than not, researched the purchase online first. Take these simple steps to make sure you’re present and found, no matter where they are looking.
A website for your local business
Create your own online storefront with a website that represents your business and offering. This doesn’t necessarily require e-commerce functionality.
Build authenticity and credibility with a website that looks and feels as much like your offline experience as possible. Invest time and effort into making sure your imagery feels like your store, and your content sounds like you behind the counter
How can you emulate this interaction and close relationship online? Ask your local studio to help you create an online presence for your business that will have your customers feeling at home.
Google my business
This free tool is invaluable to your business when trying to sell to local audiences. Once Google identifies that you offer the service or product being searched for in a consumer’s local area, you’ll appear right up near the top of search results in that Google business section. Keep your account accurate and up-to-date with frequent improvements, to build and maintain this trust. Get your customers to leave reviews and make sure you’re publishing posts and engaging with questions to have an elevated presence in the search engine results page, all for free
Social media; strategy, content, shop on social
We mentioned above that the majority of shopping occasions now begin online. Consumers check social media to get a feel for a business, see their product and understand their brand and values. Create a consistent posting schedule to show you’re open and active. Plan your posts in advance to improve the flow of your feed and continuity of design and themes across your marketing. Join Facebook or LinkedIn groups for your community and engage with the other members to meet more of your local consumers.
Shop local social media tip; Create a series in which you shout-out local businesses on a weekly basis, share news local to your area or run a competition to get everyone involved!