Did You Know?Did you know that the Greater Kamloops area is home to more than 8400 businesses, most of which are locally-owned and operated 'independent' businesses?
Neither did we when we first started ShopKamloops.com. Not only did we not know how many businesses there were, we had no idea just how many products and services were available locally that we had been driving to other communities to purchase or ordering online.
It turned out that pretty much anything we needed could be found in our own backyard with some 'digging', but it required more effort than most people were willing to spend to find out what was available. At the same time, big box stores and online mega stores with more marketing power were capturing customers' purchases and drawing them in and away from the downtown core and local independent businesses.
About Sarah Mathieu, owner of ShopKamloops.com
Sarah is originally from a small town in Ontario, where her father started his own business when she was roughly five years old. As she grew older, their family dinner conversations were usually focused around the issues that small businesses faced when big box stores flooded the city, as well as how technology moved too quickly for some small businesses to keep up with in order to be competitive in the market.
Sarah moved to BC when she was 19 years old to become an electrician. She quickly realized this wasn’t for her, so she finished her apprenticeship and moved her way up into management, where she thoroughly enjoyed learning about how business really worked. She volunteered as a Run Director for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for the Kamloops CIBC Run for the Cure. She spent months reaching out to local businesses and could not believe the rewarding feeling of people helping people to make the event possible. She came to the realization that these types of events weren't something that big box stores could usually help with, but local businesses were always eager to make their community better. This allowed her to build solid relationships with many small businesses in Kamloops, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She loved it so much that she knew she needed to find something that had the same feel-good sensation in a full-time job, so she enrolled in the Bachelor of Technology program offered by TRU. There, she fell in love with her courses and learned how to help businesses evolve, with the hopes of someday finding a career that gave back to the community.
When she stumbled across the ShopKamloops.com, she realized this was her opportunity to once again make an impact in the local community. Being from the generation that spends most of their time shopping online or fixated on social media platforms, she understands the importance for businesses to create a bold online presence to please their customers. Sarah says, “My dad is an expert at running his business. He shouldn’t have to be an expert in social media, understanding how to get found on google, websites and all other marketing aspects.” She hopes that by lending her unique perspective and her expertise, she will help business owners take the next step at getting their products online and marketing so that shopping local can be easy for the businesses and customers.
ShopKamloops.com is accessible from both computers and smart phones via a mobile version.
When you're researching online for the specific products and services you want, ShopKamloops.com is the perfect place to find the information you need.
The ShopKamloops.com community marketplace enables you to buy products online for in-store pick-up or delivery, find coupons and deals, read and write reviews, purchase online gift certificates, view restaurant menus, find out when businesses are open and how they can be paid, as well as contact business owners via email.
There are also helpful links to businesses' websites and social media profiles.
Local independent business owners, even with limited marketing budgets, can now present and promote their products and services online using our comprehensive local marketing platform.
This platform optimizes participating businesses' content so it will be found when people are searching locally and makes it easy for shoppers to take action, whether that's buying online or sending an inquiry through email..
Now business owners can deliver consistent messaging to their website and social media platforms as well, with one-stop updating through their ShopKamloops.com business control panel.
We give local business owners the ability to level the playing field with the biggest of companies.
As you can imagine, all of these features offer both businesses and consumers tons of value, but the real power of ShopKamloops.com is the offline community marketing campaign that involves hundreds of businesses displaying signs and stickers reminding people to shop locally at ShopKamloops.com
By coming together with a common message that also drives people to a web destination where they can take action, ShopKamloops.com harnesses the collective power of the local business community to give independents a voice that's even louder than the big corporate brands that are taking money out of Kamloops.
Local independent businesses generally keep more of the money spent with them, within the community than corporate chains (45% for independent vs. 15% for chains), therefore, shopping with local businesses leads to a much stronger local economy.
This benefits everyone in the community as a strong local economy creates more jobs and provides funding for local initiatives like parks and recreation, services and infrastructure, health and education.
What You Can Do to Help...
There are several easy steps you can take to help us build up the community and support local businesses:
- Use ShopKamloops.com as often as possible to learn what products and services are available locally
- Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShopKamloops
- Make informed purchases and consider the total impact of your spending, not just the price you pay
- Encourage great local business owners to keep going by posting reviews on their profile pages
- Buy our local online gift certificates instead of plastic gift cards from big box stores
- Frequent locally-owned restaurants and shops instead of the national chains
- Shop locally first whenever you can
We can always use more help spreading the word, and we greatly appreciate those who help convey the message by putting up signs and stickers or by linking to us online.
ShopKamloops.com is part of the ShopLocally.com Network, and is based on the successful local model developed with ShopMidland.com, serving the community of Midland, Ontario.
The network is leading the shop local movement.
We invite you to join almost 50,000 shop local fans on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shoplocally
The trend toward shopping “locally” is catching on, both online and offline, and we encourage you to be a part of it. For additional reading on the subject, check out The Small-Mart Revolution, a groundbreaking book that makes a strong case for local independent business and provides a road map for restoring our local economies.
Thank you for taking the time to read about ShopKamloops.com. We are passionate about building up Kamloops and love to connect with like-minded individuals.