Shopping local online: how northern businesses are adapting to consumer trends like Cyber Monday
SUDBURY -- Every Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States many big chains and box stores have significantly discounted deals online.
But for a local business in Sudbury that has been operating for more than 20 years, it’s just in the midst of adding an online shopping component.
“We do the basics,” said Backyard Birder Nature Shop co-owner Monique Paajanen.
“It was always like ‘Oh yes, we will get to that.’”
“When you’re busy running a store, you don’t have that extra time. So now we’ve been kind of pushed into it because of all this activity.”
Paajanen told CTV News in store sales have been steady throughout the pandemic, but added the store would likely be busier if online shopping was an option for clients.
“The more people know you’re there, the more your sales should go up,” she said.
“We’ve been in business for 23 years. We have always had a website, but never selling online so we’re thinking this is an extra step, adding that extension. Growing the business, a little.”
As the pandemic continues, the Greater Sudbury Business Chamber of Commerce has learned that more and more local businesses are relying on their online sales.
The Chamber of Commerce is now offering an online course to help merchants with their websites and online sales.
“We’re offering a recovery activation program,’ said Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Board, Cora Demarco.
“It seamlessly is connecting businesses with supply chain solutions so that they can integrate online quicker, easier and have a fast uptake to transition to the online space that is now required.”
Meanwhile, for some local stores, online shopping has been a large part of their success for years.
On days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Becky Boileau who is the Marketing Manager at The Plus Factor said online sales have kept them very busy.
“We did our marketing this morning and got the E-newsletter out, and I’ve been fulfilling orders ever since.”
“Most of our orders are local women who are unable to get in but know that once their size is gone, it’s gone. So, they pull that trigger pretty quickly.”
Both of the stores we spoke with said that the uncertainty of the pandemic makes them nervous. However, for the Plus Factor’s online presence, staff have some reassurances that it can still operate and make some sales over the Internet.
For Monique Paajanaen at Backyard Birder Nature Shop, she said once the online store is up and running, she will feel more secure as well, knowing clients will still be able to shop.