Buying Local vs. Buying Online


Consumers don’t have to choose. Here’s how to showcase community roots on your e-commerce site

Recent surveys show that consumers love the ease of buying online — and they want to support local businesses. In fact, a survey by Convey, an Austin, Texas-based delivery experience management company, that was released in March found that a whopping 95% of consumers think it’s important to shop small businesses.

Yet mattress retailers can satisfy both of these consumer goals by highlighting community ties through your e-commerce site. Below are some ways to promote yourself as the best local choice for mattress shoppers — even if they never set foot in your store. 

O Create a sense of place. Incorporate photos of your brick-and-mortar locations throughout your e-commerce site. Showcase the address of your flagship store on the homepage. If you have multiple stores, include a store locator and a prominent link to a list of all your locations. 

O Introduce your staff. Include a Meet Our Team page with photos and short bios. Depending on the size of your team, you can highlight key staff (owner, store manager, etc.) or the entire group. Adding tidbits, such as each retail sales associate’s top mattress pick or best tip for getting better sleep, helps consumers make a connection.

O Tout philanthropic efforts that support local charities. A section devoted to the organizations you’ve helped will remind consumers that if they buy from you, their money will stay in the community, making it a better place for all. You can include formal news releases or just short write-ups of your efforts. Add photos showing your team loading mattresses onto a truck to go to a homeless shelter or images of customers bringing in notebooks, pens and other supplies for an annual drive to aid schools. 

O Offer buy online, pick up in-store services. Through the coronavirus pandemic, consumers craving convenience and safety became comfortable with ordering online and then picking up their purchases at the store, whether those purchases were Thai food, groceries or mattresses. A Comcast Business survey conducted in late 2020 found that 44% of consumers said they would be more likely to shop a small business if it offered BOPIS and 30% would shop a small business that offered curbside pickup.

O Turn to social media. Your Facebook, Instagram and other social media are great places to highlight your involvement in the community, promote partnerships with local businesses, and remind followers that your business is right down the street.