Published on March 4, 2014
Are You Missing Out On the
There’s gold in the pockets of local consumers, and eCommerce companies are rushing to pick it up. But are local businesses even in this race? In today’s market, 90% of people research products and companies before visiting the store in person, and 56% of people purchase products online. This means that you as a small business owner have to have an online presence, or you are just leaving money on the table. eCommerce tools and strategies are no longer reserved for giant vendors from out of town. Thanks to the introduction of social commerce, person-to-person selling can now go online too. In the race for local consumer gold, it’s no longer local “high touch” competing with corporate “high tech”. Now local has its own high tech, making eCommerce a race that local businesses can finally win! Better yet – when local businesses capture eCommerce spending from local consumers, the dollars stay local. According to estimates: The average American is projected to spend $1,738 online per year by 2016. By 2017, online sales are projected to swell to a total of over $370 billion. Your streets are paved with eCommerce gold – can you dig it?
Besides the traditional web-based shopping cart model, newer trends like social and mobile are drawing even more consumers into shopping online. Social commerce spending is projected to top $30 billion per year by 2015. Mobile commerce is pegged to hit $31 billion by the same time. Over 70% of US consumers regularly shop or browse online with their smartphones. Given that many of those same smartphones are loaded with social apps, the lines between social, mobile, and traditional eCommerce become ever blurrier. The bottom line is, the smartphone is looking more and more like a mobile wallet, with advertising screens strategically placed between the consumer and her money. Will your business be seen on those screens? To get your fair share of mobile and social revenue, you need “location, location, location” in the digital streambeds where online spending is flowing. Small business is vital to local economies. In a recent survey, 87% of consumers stated that small businesses are critical for US economic health. Consumer Pulse Fact Sheet According the National Federation of Independent Retailers, in 2012 $5.5 billion was spent with local independent businesses. Of this local spending, 73% stayed home to be recirculated again and again through the local economy. By contrast, when local spending goes to nonlocally owned business, 57% of the dollars go straight out of town. The notion of economic stimulus is based on a multiplier factor in which each dollar spent skips from business to business to business. For locally owned businesses, the local multiplier is bigger, making the positive impact of every local dollar spent event that much more.
When small business loses the eCommerce race, the local economy suffers. To maintain local economies as vibrant and diverse, small businesses like yours need to step up to the challenge of eCommerce. Luckily, you will have help! Recent surveys state that 65% of small businesses do not accept payment on their web sites. 63% of these businesses do not have tools to monitor traffic on their web sites. 53% of small businesses do not use social media, and 40% of small businesses do not even have a web site! If you don’t play, you can’t win – to get into the eCommerce game and to stand a fighting chance, local, small and independent businesses need an eCommerce solution that works for them. Standing still is not an option. By all indications, traditional advertising media like newspapers, yellow pages, and business directories are fading in significance. The newer generation of consumers is mobile and social. Today’s customer seeks products and services on electronic screens. How will your business reach that customer? And if the right tools to present your business online were readily available, what kind of positive impact would that have, both for your business and for your community?
Suppose even 10% of online commerce were shifted to local businesses. One estimate places the total economic impact of such a shift at over $5.6 billion dollars per year for local economies. Call it the social commerce stimulus program. To implement that stimulus program in your local economy today, you don’t need to pass a law. You just need to leverage available tools to practice the art of social commerce by putting your and other independent local businesses online. Meylah is a social commerce platform providing support for businesses like yours. Far more than a mere online shopping cart, Meylah creates hyper-local socially driven marketplaces to promote spending within the local community. Meylah today features over 75 mini Amazon-like markets activated to infuse dollars into local economies through Social Commerce. This number is increasing. Meylah takes as its mission to grow local economies by over 10 billion through support of small business online commerce. To achieve this mission, Meylah is launching a Shop Local America initiative, bringing affordable, convenient solutions for businesses needing to move their marketing messages online.
Through Meylah, putting a small business online is quick and easy. There are never any charges up front, and essential tools like payment card acceptance and social media integration are just a few clicks away. Given the ability of Meylah to act as a rapid deployment solution for getting smaller businesses online, the next step in Shop Local America is to reach out to consumers. is the Chief Marketing Officer of Meylah.com and an expert and advocate of e-commerce solutions for small businesses. follow her Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter@meylah Facebook.com/meylah Linkedin.com/chaitrav www.Meylah.com If each consumer pushes even $5 of spending online toward local independent businesses, the financial impact will be huge. Local chambers and merchant associations can facilitate this process by opening their own local Meylah marketplaces(example : Eastside Marketplace powered by Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, WA). A Meylah marketplace pulls together offerings from many local businesses, sorts these products and services by category, and most importantly, makes the online shopping experience “sticky” for local consumers. Meylah never sends a customer comparison shopping for other products and services multiple time zones away. Instead, the Meylah social commerce platform always draws consumers in, creating a shopping experience that funnels dollars locally and invites potential customers to consider the widest range of local small business offerings. Your local streets are paved with eCommerce gold. Are you ready to work this find? First, you need your location on the rising streams of online spending, streams like social and mobile. Then, you need the right tools to sift for the nuggets. Meylah, the hyper-local social commerce platform provides those tools and solutions to take your business online. And then the rush is on! Be sure your local customers understand what is in it for them – a more vibrant local economy, more dollars circulating locally, more jobs and spending flowing to their own local businesses. Meylah is mapping the way. Just set up a community online marketplace and lets light up your community/city together in the Digital World!!!
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