Even in the age of the internet, as we get more and more accustomed to immediate online shopping, the good old business model of a brick and mortar store is still going strong. There are certain brands and products that sell best face-to-face, and the mechanized and anonymous online retail can’t replace the local shopping experience entirely.
While doing business and shopping online is very convenient, there’s a growing awareness to the importance of “buying local.” Supporting local small businesses is both a contribution to the economic stability of your region and a step forward in strengthening your community. The environmental benefits of utilizing more local goods and produce are also a vital factor here.
While it’s often not the cheapest option available, the additional costs of buying local are an investment in the improvement and development of your community, so in a sense you’re paying slightly more but you’re also indirectly benefiting from it.
Now, realistically speaking, online businesses are not going away anytime soon, so concentrating solely on the brick and mortar operation while neglecting online presence is not a wise strategy. The best approach is to create a strong web visibility that highlights the unique benefits of your brand or product. Creating a website to promote your business does not disqualify it from being an authentic local venture, it can even help to reinforce the local identity of your brand.
To illustrate how this works, we put together a list of excellent Wix websites that promote a local brick and mortar business. You’ll see how the site owners managed to find the perfect way to represent their businesses online and still keep people shopping with their feet:
Already in the name, Van Noort Flowers Studio is emphasizing their physical location. In the site footer, they invite viewers to come visit them at the brick and mortar location, and add a personal touch to the visit by encouraging potential customers to make an appointment.
Food is one of the leading arenas of the “buy local” movement, and this lovely store in Kennett Square, PA, is a prime example of why insisting on local food is such a force in community building. A great idea they implemented was to offer prepared foods and party trays to expand their services beyond a simple grocery store.
One of the great things about the local business model is the personal relationship built between stores and clients. This lovely NYC bakery is making the most out of this relationship by offering on-site baking classes!
Another great example for a local space that operates as a shop for ceramics art and as a meeting point for classes. On the News page you will find social media posts made both by the studio owner and by other local businesses who cooperate with Cone 11 – excellent way to build a community network.
How do these cute delicious doughnuts work in a local community? First of all, they invite site visitors to drop by their store to grab a bite – and it’s nearly impossible to refuse them – but for those who want the doughnuts to come all the way to them, they also offer an elaborate catering service.
This chic beauty salon in Buffalo, NY, is appealing to a local clientele in more than one way, but a particularly smart step is offering gift vouchers for purchase online. For brick and mortar businesses, vouchers are a great way to make money online while still getting people coming to the physical location.
We love how this small fashion store chain in Australia is embedding their local urban style into their branding. Everything about their website tells you that they are the ultimate clothing option for young city dwellers.
Local business branding goes hand in hand with artisanal crafting of food, goods and lifestyle. The impeccably designed website of the Seven Grams cafe does a great job highlighting the “handmade” approach to their service.
An important appeal of the local business model is knowing that there is a personal story behind the brand. This Austin-based jewelry studio share their personal story on their website and add a touch of familiarity and individuality to their branding.
Eco-art pioneer Susie Frazier is very embedded in the Cleveland scene and her website reflects her local identity by emphasizing the communal aspect of her work. In addition to creating public artwork, Frazier also takes the time to communicate her philosophy of earthmindedness to her local audience.
Angelica Gomes is nothing short of a flower artist. In her NYC shop she designs blooming masterpieces that later decorate the city she works in, as well as media and event productions. Despite being internationally recognized for her work, she maintains a bond with her local clientele, as evident in her social media activities.
Any bike lover knows the importance of cultivating a relationship with a reliable cycling shop. Gordon Bennett’s shop is offering this valuable relationship to Tel Aviv cyclists, including custom-made bikes under the brand name Middleasta.
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