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Why Small Merchants Need to Go Digital if They Want to Succeed – and How to Do it

From food to beauty products to clothing, for many millennials, buying local is the way to go.

According to a new poll, 90 per cent of us feel that it’s important to support local retailers. However, how we do it is changing. We are much less likely than older generations to shop frequently from local independent stores.

It all comes down to our motivations. While our parents may have shopped in the neighbourhood because of their emotional ties to the community, we tend to favour local shops because of the unique products they offer.


Which means one thing: small merchants need to have a digital edge if they want to compete in today’s market.

With websites like Etsy making it super easy to get vintage and handmade goods delivered right to your door, even “mom and pop” shops need a great website, eCommerce options, and convenient payment options in-store and online if they want to keep up with the times and attract younger customers.

Of course, all of this advice is much easier said than done which is why Mastercard is partnering with the City of Toronto on Digital Main Street. The first-of-its-kind initiative is giving local businesses access to digital tools and education like an easy website builder and big data resources.


For example, the website offers businesses a free assessment and provides a personalized to-do list that identifies different technologies and service providers that can help businesses meet their digital goals.

Small business owners can also get access to articles, tutorials, workshops, training, demonstrations and even a Digital Service Squad of tech-savvy students that can all help them.

The local movement isn’t going anywhere. But if you want to make the most of it, go digital or go home.

Notable Life

Canada’s leading online publication for driven young professionals & culture generators.