You know it’s true. Too many times we find ourselves lumped in with our southern neighbours when it comes to discussing our shopping habits, internet preferences, what we share online, and how we consume media (among other things).
Let’s stop pretending we think and act like Americans! Here at Shoptoit.ca we are proud to be a Canadian company. We love finding great deals on products and then telling our friends about it, or spending hours shopping and finding things to buy that we didn’t even know we needed but were such a great deal we couldn’t resist. We love shopping locally, but quite often if we are looking for a specific item we end up buying online or from a larger retailer because we don’t know if the local stores carry what we are searching for and don’t always have the time to go to each store to look.
Canadians are notorious for spending a lot of time online researching products that they would like to buy and then heading into a store close to them to make the purchase. We are guilty of this. Are you? As the owner of a retail business do you know if your potential customers can find your store and products when they are in this research process? Why not give it a try? Head over to Google and type in one of your brand names and your town (ie Merrell shoes Calgary). Where does your store show up in the listings? Does it show at all? We created our local stores program to help retailers like YOU get found in these types of searches.
According to a recent international study 3 out of 4 Canadians prefer to buy in store. We are just not ready to wholeheartedly embrace online shopping in Canada. We believe that part of the reason for this is that the size and population density of Canada makes shipping costs much higher than in the US. But also a large part of this is that we do love to shop locally. We like to get to know the smaller shopkeepers in our towns and rely on them to give us the great customer service that we don’t always get in the larger chain stores. Most Canadians seem to not mind paying a bit extra for items if they can find what they need from a local store with great service. The surprising thing though is that many of our small, local stores not only have the best service, but they quite often have better prices and selection than large retailers. We just can’t find them as easily.
If you are the owner of or work in a smaller retail store you are probably frustrated by this phenomenon. You don’t have as large of an advertising budget as the big stores do, so how can you make sure that shoppers find you and your products when they need them? There are many different options out there to help you get seen, but most still require a large cash outlay and/or a lot of work for you.
That is why we are so excited about our local stores program! Would a platform that allowed you to set up a web presence that is integrated with your products and location(s), allows local shoppers to search for the specific products or brands you carry, is available to mobile customers, and allows you to promote your special offers and editorial content be something that you could get excited about? How about if you knew you could sign up for a free listing and the maximum monthly cost for all the local retailer features is less than $50 a month?
Join us on one (or more) of our social media channels that are dedicated to helping smaller retailers like you stay on top of and benefit from the huge amount of changes that are happening in the retail industry. We would love to have you join the conversation and help us provide you with the best tools we can to help your business.