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17 Reasons Why It Is Beneficial to Shop Locally Rather Than Online

17 Reasons Why It Is Beneficial to Shop Locally Rather Than Online

Online shopping from businesses outside of Windsor & Essex County can be convenient. Grab your phone, type in a URL (or open an app), browse the offerings, and hit a few buttons to buy just about anything. Even groceries can be purchased online these days. Even though online shopping seems convenient, there are several reasons why you should shop locally. We are here to help support the locally-run businesses, organizations and professionals selling products and services in your neighbourhood and community. There are many reasons to shop local, even with the vast array of online shopping options available.

Shopping local means supporting businesses that locally source their items, employ workers from their community, and sell to residents who live in your neighbourhood, as well as local visitors.

Top 17 Reasons to Shop and Support Local:

  1. You're Supporting Your Neighbours and Keeping Money in Our Area

    You are supporting your neighbours when you shop locally, and they are more likely to keep the money you spend with them locally. Generally, for every $100 spent locally, $70 of it stays in the area. Money from the community stays in the community, since the local business will hire and pay local people, as well as buy local goods and services to keep their business going. Of course online shopping from a local store still keeps the money in our community.

  2. You Can Seek Advice in Person

    Are you unsure of the right size, color, fit or other option? You want to purchase something, but you don't know what else you need to complete that purchase (especially in hardware, electronics, technology, fashion, design and many others). In-person shopping can help you find what you need in one stop. Small business owners and their staff are willing to respond to questions and offer complete information, advice, suggestions and alternatives. You can get direct attention to detail as well as use your senses to evaluate - which is far better than chatting online with a representative of a big box store.

  3. You Know What You Are Getting

    Are you ever disappointed when something you order online doesn't arrive as expected? Perhaps it isn't the size you expected, or the color isn't like you saw online, or it was delivered very late or damaged. Online images can be challenging to discern. If you don't read the description carefully, your purchase may not include things you assumed it came with, or are also needed to make it function properly. Some items are sized differently from what you are used to, or have unexpected variations even if you read the description. Then, unfortunately, you are forced into the long-distance return process, which can often be complicated and time-consuming.

  4. Faster and Easier Returns

    It is always possible that you will have to return a purchase in person, even if you understand what you're buying. In most cases, it's easier and much quicker to do it locally than to use the return processs of an online store. If needed, you can also have a conversation with staff and get advice or alternatives to make sure you get what you need, then be back up and running immediately.

  5. Customer Service is Better

    If you don't like what you bought, you know how to contact your local provider. Often, online sellers make it impossible to get in touch with a human being. Try arguing with a chatbot that uses keywords and automated language responses. If you speak with a local business owner, they might be able to suggest a solution that is more along the lines of your needs. Small business owners have more of an opportunity to develop a close relationship with their customers, creating more opportunities for the community to find what they need and improve their overall experience.

  6. Local Shopping Can Become an Adventure

    Online shopping is indeed quick, but sometimes you don't remember anything about it afterward. It has become a habit. You may overspend as a result. How often do you come home to find a package on your doorstep that you can't remember when or where you bought it, especially during the holiday season? You'll more likely remember what you purchased and how much you spent shopping in person. You can go alone, or you can also invite friends or family and make an afternoon or evening out of it. This can include stops for lunch, dinner or a drink to make it a more fulfilling experience.

  7. It Brings On the Holiday Spirit.

    Being outside among the holidays' sounds, tastes, and smells can lift your spirits. It's difficult not to fall in love with the season's sparkling lights, glitter, snow (real or fake), and upbeat songs. Online shopping definitely does not produce the same joy!

  8. When You Only Purchase Online, You May Miss Out

    When you shop online, you do a few searches for the items you want. You are less likely to find the perfect gift or item if you are on a mission and only look at what the online store offers. When you're shopping in person, many things catch your eye, and you walk out knowing you've found something special.

  9. You Meet and Interact With Others

    When you shop in person, you meet, interact and connect with other people. The pandemic period isolated most of us, forcing us into our stay-at-home online habits. We should now be past that. The encounters that occur while walking around town have a certain allure. You might run into friends you have't seen in a while, an old acquaintance or even your next business partner. These interactions can be beneficial, with something as simple as a compliment (bringing a sense of good feelings) to sharing great ideas that can help in your life or business.

  10. You'll Get More Favorable Feedback

    Online reviews are often one-sided, with a low chance of follow-up from the original poster. Indeed, online reviews can be helpful, but so can reviews from people around you. Plus, you have a personal connection with the people you meet in person who comment on your purchases. They can attest to your purchases in person. They can answer any questions you may have.

  11. No Delivery Worries When Shopping Local

    There is often talk about possible delivery delays from online orders due to backed-up ports, international delays, trade route blockages, political problems, shipping issues from China, a short-staffed supply chain - heck even a ship blocked the Suez Canal and disrupted global trade. Those who shop in person locally need not worry about this. Just go to the shop and get it.

  12. In-person Shopping is Perfect for Procrastinators!

    Some online mega-retailers can ship you an item on the same day, depending on where you live. Still, your best option is usually your local store for last-minute gifts, especially as we get closer to holidays. Feel free to use this reason as an excuse to shop local if you're a procrastinator. There will be no stress about hoping it will arrive - and on time. No need to rely on someone else's delivery schedule.

  13. Displays Assist You in Visualizing

    Store displays are more helpful than "you might also like" options in online stores. The online retailer bases its recommendations on what other customers buy. Merchandise displays (and store layouts) are intended to assist you in finding what you're looking for. The selections are carefully chosen with the customer in mind. They allow you to compare, contrast, touch and feel - live, in person.

  14. Window Shopping Can Spark Creative Thinking

    During the holidays, you'll find beautiful window displays and holiday decoration displays in person. These could inspire your holiday home décor or help you figure out something for your hard-to-buy-for aunt. Also, a display could encourage you to try a new business that you hadn't noticed before. Shopping in person can be full of unexpected rewards.

  15. You Could Find Your Next Job

    You will quickly realize how many businesses are hiring if you visit them. Even better, maybe you will find something available at one of the favorite shops you frequent. You certainly would have a leg up if they recognize you from being in their store. You never know what you can find or who you can meet when you get out into the local community shops.

  16. Importantly, Local Businesses Are More Likely to Give Back to Their Community

    Local and family business owners are an essential part of our local economy, and they also realize how their decisions could create a positive impact. Because families in the community typically own these businesses, they have a vested interest in making the community better. They help build the community by sponsoring local sports teams, donating to those in need, or participating in community events.

  17. More Local Jobs

    This may be the most important point for our community, since we are always fighting tooth and nail to bring jobs to local neighborhoods. It is simple: local businesses hire local workers, online businesses outside of our community do not. Local businesses that hire locally are one of the best benefits of supporting local businesses. Rather than people having to commute far distances for their job, or worse, leave our community, staying close to home works for family, friends and the local business.

In summary, we are not asking everyone to immediately stop using external online shopping. There is a time and place for it. We are hoping we can all start shopping locally much more often, so we can reap the benefits of building a stronger and sustainable Windsor & Essex County community.

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