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On the Monday after Thanksgiving, our email inboxes inevitably blow up with Cyber Monday discounts. The holiday, if that’s what you want to call it, was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online, with the idea that it would be a good way to market deals to those looking to get their holiday shopping done early. This year, instead of giving your money away to big corporations, we encourage you to do your Cyber Monday shopping locally, especially since many local businesses have switched to online shopping platforms due to coronavirus—and, they need your help.
Main & Taylor, which has maintained a customized in-person shopping experience for 30 years, is one local business that had to change operations due to the shutdown. Owner Diane Chinnis developed an online store for the shoe boutique to continue reaching customers—before COVID, Main & Taylor didn’t sell via its website at all.
Chinnis says she held out on offering an online store because she believes in one-on-one interaction. “We have lots of great relationships with our customers,” Chinnis says. “My husband and I thrive on that interaction.” When opening an online store was the only option left, she gave in, but the online shopping experience has now given Main & Taylor’s customers the option to buy shoes at any time, from anywhere, which has expanded the store’s customer base.
Jason Jefferies, the general manager of Quail Ridge Books, also chose to focus on online sales when the pandemic hit, offering free shipping nationally and curbside pickup locally. While Quail Ridge sold books through its website before, during the shutdown the store increased online sales by 3,000 percent. Other local businesses, including The Flourish Market, Uniquities, Edge of Urge, The Zen Succulent and many others, have also switched to online sales platforms when customers could no longer visit in person. Even now that most of these shops are back open, they’ve maintained their online stores.
This Cyber Monday, it will be easier than ever to shop locally and conveniently from your phone, tablet or laptop. Local businesses are hurting and shopping with them is the easiest way to help them out. Visit shoplocalraleigh.org for a list of local businesses with online shops.
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