‘Alexa, please place order for Charmin toilet paper’.
I wait for the smile and ‘hello’... It doesn’t come.
I wait for the satisfaction of touching and feeling my new toilet paper… I don’t get it.
Okay, toilet paper is probably not the best example - you get my point.
We recently got an Amazon Echo. While it is fantastic for the daily news briefings, the weather, and newly discovered reading of audio books from our library, I am a big fan of walking into a store for close to 90% of my purchases.
With Amazon, you are getting the price, what about the value? The value of a moment. The value of seeing someone smile other than the UPS driver that drops off your shipment just to create another box to throw in the recycling.
Here are a few reasons why you should shop local and small all year, not just on Small Business Saturday.
Establish a Personal Connection
This is my favorite. When you walk in the store, they remember you. You have the opportunity for an authentic conversation and smile. They email or text you directly about sales versus being controlled by the latest AI personalization technology.
Socialize at Community Events
After you establish the personal connection, you get to experience events at the local store which benefit the community and allow you to meet more people - and get more smiles.
Exercise and Save Money
Get off your couch and take a walk to your local store. Take an adventure on the train and interact with the real world. You will be a lot closer to your 10,000 step goal.
Save money. When you are local, you can think about it and go back on your way home from work instead of buying online and forgetting to return - after not knowing the real quality that is now the reality with fast fashion.
Limit Your Choices
One of the biggest benefits of local boutiques includes curating the best products to save you time. This is one of the main reasons I am not a fan of big box stores. See more in my post Limit Choices To Increase Sales by 600%
You can touch and feel it. I am a fan of physical touch. It is my top love language. You also get to bring it home immediately. Even if Amazon Prime got it to your door in two days, you may end up with the infamous ‘We missed you’ sticker left on your door. Or it goes missing from your hallway.
I am not alone. Even though there is an increase in mobile shopping, the reality is people use all channels during their journey to the final purchase. See stats in the picture below for in-store preference.
I encourage you to embrace local direct and small stores when possible to support the community. The experience is just so much better than big box stores.
The Pukka Panda