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    Since LocalU is made up of some terrific local SEO experts who work everyday with a wide variety of local businesses I asked Mike if it would be okay to get your insights into something.

    I write a column for a industry trade magazine. In an upcoming issue they are asking me to write about the impact of e-commerce and online activity on the local consumer and their buying habits, what’s important to them and how online has changed the game and where they buy. This is also in reference to local brick-and-mortar stores losing ground to the online e-commerce players and it is not product specific.

    I have my own opinion and research I have done working with various ecommerce sites for years but I would love to get feedback and perspective on this where you see the consumer today as well as the small businesses.

    Thank you!


    Mike Blumenthal

    This is one of the more thoughtful articles: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/retail-meltdown-of-2017/522384/ that covers the change.

    As for me personally, living in a rural area, the selection, quality and convenience have pushed me from local retail first to local retail last approach.

    Here is an article about some of my local experiences:

    The One Click Economy

    But I see merchants that have overcome these trends with an experience approach to retail. And I was struck by this quote

    These purchasers tended to be Millennial and Barbara had this to say about that cohort:
    “No question, the millennials are all about the reviews. They do however then tell others as I have gotten a lot of secondary business once their friends drink the kool-aid. The referrals still mention that they go and check out the reviews for themselves, interesting clients. I personally love them as they want information which we do very well, and they want to keep it local rather than their predecessors who thought online was the only way to go. Can’t hire them but love them as customers.”


    Mike, thank you for the wonderful response and for taking the time to put that together!

    With all the news lately about the stores closing there are a lot of people who seem to be thinking the sky is falling. I have had several phone conversations this week where people are drinking the Kool-Aid and really believe in the near future most sales will be online and local retail businesses are doomed. The Amazon effect will kill all!!

    I do think it is somewhat self-inflicting, like your local bike shop experience.

    I remember when everyone thought Walmart would kill all the local SMBs, and Home Depot and Lowes would kill all the home centers, lumberyards, flooring stores, etc.

    They do however then tell others as I have gotten a lot of secondary business once their friends drink the kool-aid. The referrals still mention that they go and check out the reviews for themselves..

    I think it is interesting note and I have read that before. Just imagine if friends tell you about their great experience and then you go check the online reviews and the reviews say just the opposite.

    When I have time I tell you about a phone call I got from a top guy at Amazon several years ago.


    Some interesting facts…

    Estimates for U.S. Quarterly Retail ecommerce sales…
    E-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2017 accounted for 8.4 percent of total sales.
    See: https://www.census.gov/retail/mrts/www/data/pdf/ec_current.pdf

    E-commerce accounted for 11.7% of total retail sales in 2016, up 15.6% over 2015

    How Leading e-Commerce Companies Drive Traffic to Their Websites

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