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Three Ways Your Business Can Encourage Shopping Locally In Your Community

Contributed by Nicole Bogatitus for Retail Minded. 

With more and more consumers shopping online and at big box retailers, it can be tough as an independent brick and mortar business owner to generate interest and draw in new customers as well as keep existing ones coming back. Aligning with the shop local movement is a great way to set your business apart.

Shopping locally not only supports your town’s economy, but also affords the opportunity for business owners like you to tell the story behind the designer and support the maker movement. Get a level up on online retailers by offering the opportunity for your customers to experience amazing new designs in-person on a tactile level. Blow big box competition away by becoming invested and telling the story of the designers you carry.

Here at Etsy Wholesale, we’re also huge supporters of the shop local movement. Read on below for more details and three ways to encourage buyers to shop locally:

  1. Shop local to support your town’s economy

While shopping online can expose you to customers from all over the world, the experience of seeing and touching an object in-person can’t be replaced. Aligning your business with the shop local movement exposes you to multitudes of advantages.

Locally-owned businesses contribute to a more eclectic and vibrant community and liven the fabric of the neighborhood by creating a town center that is unique and looks different from those saturated by big box and chain retailers. Local business proprietors are more likely to live and stay in the area therefore becoming more invested in their communities.

Even though you want to promote shopping in-person, you can still use online sources to your advantage. Being able to search by location on Etsy Wholesale, you can stock your shop with unique, handmade items produced by designers and artists in close proximity, creating a loop that empowers you, the designer, and your local community.

  1. Shop local to provide a personal connection

As an independent business owner, you’re more invested in setting yourself apart from chain stores. Providing a more personal connection to your customer is a brilliant way to do so. Your human touch can be an invaluable asset in not only drawing new customers into your shop, but in keeping them coming back.

When you’re approved as a buyer on Etsy Wholesale, you can list your business on Etsy Local, an extensive database where the community can search for events and local boutiques that carry Etsy designers. Customers can also use the Etsy app to notify them via push notifications when they are near a local boutique that carries one of their favorite Etsy designers. Being able to see these items in real life and hear an actual person talk about why they chose to stock this item in their shop creates a lasting connection between you and the customer.

Retailers on Etsy Wholesale can find out more about a designer’s process and are able to relay their maker story first-hand. Designers provide information in their profiles about the roles they play in the design and production process, and the ordering flow lets you to communicate directly with that designer – allowing the opportunity to find out more about their personal story as a maker.

Interest in the maker movement is growing everyday, and being able to tell your customers where items in your store come from is a potent value proposition. Connecting the fact that the item was created by another human with an artistic vision is a strong selling point.

  1. Shop local for great ways to connect with other members in your community

In-store events can generate buzz and encourage participation within your community. Hosting a trunk show or meet and greet event are compelling ways of offering reasons for customers to stop by in person.

Trunk shows are an easy, no-fuss way to put together an intriguing event. You can search out a local designer in your area to host a trunk show with, further connecting back to the shop local initiative. Trunk shows also allow you to test drive their line in your store before committing to a larger order.

Ever thought about using your shop as a conduit for members in your community to meet? You can plan a meet and greet event to connect makers, designers, customers, and other business owners in your community. Add drinks, snacks, and music to the mix and you have a sure-fire way to become the talk of the town.
Interested in buying from unique, independent designers you can’t find anywhere else? Submit an application to Etsy Wholesale, which is free for buyers to apply and use. You can also sign up for Etsy Wholesale emails to find out about the freshest trends, receive exclusive invites to buyer events, and more.

Contributed by Nicole Bogatitus, Etsy Wholesale Buyer Coordinator. Learn more about Etsy Wholesale at etsy.com/wholesale

Photo Credit: Etsy with permission to use. 


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