Amid the current crisis, now is a crucial time for consumers to support their local economy. This week (August 10th-16th) is Shop Local Week. The government are urging consumers to support their communities and shop small.
It is vital that we all become part of the national recovery and try our utmost to help small businesses rebuild and survive the pandemic.
At Wiseup, we are passionate about helping small businesses succeed, so we have put together some advice on how small business owners can encourage consumers to shop locally now and for the long-term:
Customer experience is the greatest opportunity for local businesses to win over the hearts of consumers during Shop Local Week. As the nation is encouraged to shop close home, small business owners will want to ensure that the customer experience both in-store and online is as good as it possibly can be.
This could mean stressing the importance of customer service to client-facing staff, or making sure that your website is welcoming and user-friendly. It’s all about making a positive impression.
Local businesses now also have the added responsibility of ensuring that they provide a safe shopping environment for consumers in line with the virus prevention regulations.
Shop Local Week is a great opportunity for small businesses to shake up their marketing and home in on what makes their shopping experience unique.
One factor that encourages consumers to gravitate toward small businesses is their personal or family feel. As a small business owner, you should play to this strength by sharing your values, engaging with the local community, and making your story part of your brand.
An honest and relatable company story will build trust and speak to the emotions of potential customers. People are far more likely to change their shopping habits for a local business that they can trust and identify with.
One advantage that small and local businesses have over bigger corporations is their ability to communicate with their consumers on a more personal and targeted level. But this is only achievable if your business is able to put itself in the mind of its consumers.
Each local community will have its own unique demographic and behaviours. As a small business owner, you must understand the values, attitudes and shopping habits of the people in your community. Use this insight to engage with customers in a way that tells them you understand them better than any large conglomerate could.
Shop Local Week aims to help small business experience a spike in shopper activity. To make this initiative count, local business owners need to concentrate on turning these short-term speculative shoppers into loyal customers.
Customer reward schemes such as points systems, local discounts or loyalty cards are all effective ways to attract regular customers.
Each day when you open for business, many new faces will enter your store or visit your site with the potential to be turned into frequent shoppers. Loyalty schemes offer an incentive for them to come back again and again.