75% of people shop online at least once a month. Amazon currently accounts for over 47% of all e-commerce sales. E-commerce is growing 23% per year, yet 46% of American small businesses still don’t have a website. These numbers are important to think about if you are a small business owner. It’s crucial that you have an online presence if you are to survive and thrive. And the Chamber just made it easier than ever to do just that.
Next week, the Chamber will launch its “Shop Where I Live Ohio Valley” website featuring an online shopping platform for members to utilize free of charge. Shoppers will be able to browse and purchase products and gift cards from our local businesses, pay online and have their purchases shipped or schedule them for in-store or curbside pick up. You may even make purchases from multiple businesses and check out in one transaction. In addition, non-retailers may participate by offering coupons, downloadable purchases and receiving online inquiries about their services.
“This has been a long time coming,” commented Chamber president, Tricia Maple-Damewood. “This platform will allow any local business, from a home-based retailer to a restaurant, franchise or service business to promote themselves AND bring in sales, 24/7 and with no cost to them. This not only allows them to compete with big box stores and other online retailers but also provides a means to bring in crucial dollars during a time when in-store shopping is limited due to Covid.” The site will not just be for the holidays but remain a permanent, highly-promoted advertising and sales tools for Chamber member businesses year-round, accessible through the Chamber’s website. Non-members may participate as well by paying a monthly selling fee.
Want to get involved? The Chamber is very much in need of sponsors to help cover the costs of the program and interns or retired business people to assist our members in getting their online stores set up. (You may do this from home and via phone and if you’re a student, it’s a great addition to your resume and a way to meet local businesses). But most importantly, we need businesses to participate to make the site a success. Help us help the local business community as they face incredible challenges. Click below for more information.
A heartfelt thank you to the sponsors already on board: Apollo Professional Cleaning and Restoration, Hancock County Savings Bank, M & M True Value Hardware, and Trinity Health System. These businesses have made this incredible project possible.