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"Make this world better" sign

As we all know, the shift to online shopping has continually taken a toll on brick and mortar stores.  Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shutdown of a large portion of those stores,  many are struggling to survive. The news continually reports about another large retailer that has predominantly relied upon walk-in customers in the past has filed bankruptcy and/or closing stores. Additionally, retailers no longer compete only with other similar retailers. Online shopping has brought another competitor – the manufacturers.

Many manufactures are selling directly to customers. This is often referred to as D2C, Direct-To-Consumer. Today’s buyer wants to really connect with whom they are purchasing from. They want companies to directly engage with them and be heard via reviews and social media.

If you look back through retail history, this isn’t really a new marketing strategy. Yes, the means of communication and technology have changed, but the concept hasn’t.

Decades ago, mom and pop stores offered a personal experience to the consumers by getting to know their buyer personally and what appeals to them. Somewhere along the way, most large retailers lost the personal side of selling.  

In addition, consumers want to make sure their money is going somewhere that maintains a similar moral compass. One way D2C is achieving this is by attaching their brand to noble causes that resonate with consumers. A word of caution here: Do not associate yourself with a cause just because you think it’s what your customer wants. The attachment must be genuine and heartfelt. Trust me, today’s younger buyer can sniff a phony out a mile away. My 20-year-old daughter is a prime example. She does her research about a company before spending a dime with them. She can tell you in a matter of minutes if they are genuine or not.

Today’s buyers want businesses to use some of their profits to help others live better. Tom’s is one of the first brands I think of that truly marketed their donation of a pair of shoes to those in need for each pair purchased.  As a small business owner, you might be asking yourself how you can do this because every penny counts towards your bottom line. A couple of ways you can do this are:

  1. Partner with a local non-profit. Discuss with them what their needs are. If you absolutely cannot spare any money from your bottom line, simply helping promote them on your social media platform will help. You could also donate your time if you can’t afford a monetary donation. An example would be for every item purchased, you will donate one hour of your time to the organization.

  1. If you have goods you want to sell online, you can also create an account on Local Giving Mall. Sellers can set up shops in this online mall and select the charity of their choice to receive a percentage of each sale. If your charity is not listed, you can recommend them, or send them a link to the registration page for charities. 

This simplifies the process as the funds are automatically deposited into the charity’s account, as they call it, Donations from the Cloud.  This makes it easy for you as a business owner and gives you a way to display the goodness in your business by investing in your community.

Wherever your heart is drawn, let your consumers know about it. Your non-profit will thank you. To help you with this project, contact CyberSpyder Marketing Services today.

Ned the Newsletter Nerd

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