Neighborhood Businesses Need Discovery First, Ecommerce (A Distant) Second

tumblr_miadxs4E8y1qz6i2to1_1280At Main and Me, our mission is to level the playing field on which Main Street competes with malls, big box stores and online retail giants. As it happens, the Main Street retailers we talk to are concerned about two things: 1) how internet shopping adversely impacts their business, and 2) what in the world they should do about it? The subject keeps them up at night. It distracts them from what they love to do and from their reasons for getting into retail in the first place. That’s where Main and Me can help.

Main and Me answers the question “What should I do about it?” with a simple first step: showcase your inventory online so online shoppers can find you. In other words, take photos of what you sell and get those photos onto your blog or your Facebook page so online shoppers can discover them, become engaged with your brand and make a beeline to your physical location. Don’t worry about selling online just yet. That would involve order fulfillment and shipping and lots of other things you as a resource-challenged retailer may not be ready for. Besides, you probably still want people to come to your store in person so you can make a personal connection and help them find an item in the right size–or maybe even discover something better.

The good news is that it’s not about selling online as a first step. It’s about showcasing your inventory online, because online shoppers can’t buy what they can’t see, and the only way for them to discover your store and buy what you sell is to be able to see it.

Full disclosure: Main and Me makes showcasing your products online a snap. We separate the discovery part from the online selling part so discovery can occur right away and begin to bestow its benefits immediately. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in then we invite you to start using Main and Me now. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think about the threat–and the opportunity–posed by internet shopping, and what you have been doing about it.

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