November 30, 2015 10:55 ET

BC Local Businesses Advised to Step Up Online Selling as Buy Local Week Launches in BC

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 30, 2015) - The fourth annual Buy Local Week in BC kicked off today, celebrating the big impact buying locally has on the local economy and on communities across BC, and highlighting a new report showing that local businesses need to step up efforts to sell and market online.

"During BC Buy Local Week, we are celebrating local businesses and how they create more than double the economic impact of their chain competitors, but they need to ramp up efforts to market and sell online," says Amy Robinson, founder and co-executive director of LOCO BC, which coordinates Buy Local Week in the province. "Our new report shows that consumers want local, and yet those who shop heavily online are buying from chains twice as often. Although many of the most tech savvy businesses are using web and mobile technologies, few feel they are marketing themselves effectively against the online competition, so we hope our new BC Buy Local campaign will connect more local businesses and consumers online."

Buy Local Week 2015 runs from November 30 to December 6 and has been proclaimed by the Province of BC and many cities and regions around the province, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, New Westminster, Whistler, Squamish, LIllooet and Victoria. Other participating communities include Langley, Abbotsford and Tofino.

For every dollar people spend with local businesses, that money recirculates in their community and creates $2.60 of economic impact for their region. Consumers are being encouraged to shift some of their holiday spending to locally owned businesses, and to look for local grown and locally made products wherever they shop.

Throughout the year, participating local BC businesses will be promoting their local owned businesses, local grown and local made products with bright pink stickers and other materials to highlight their impact, using the hashtag #BCBuyLocal to amplify their efforts on social media. Consumers are invited to participate on social media by sharing photos of their local shopping and the pink stickers, and looking to bcbuylocal.com as a resource for BC products and businesses.

As part of the launch of BC Buy Local Week, LOCO BC today released a new report called "The Impact of Online Shopping on Local Business", which examines how the shift to more online shopping has impacted locally owned businesses who are now competing with large chain stores across North America. Some highlights include:

  • 64% of BC retailers cite "competition from internet retailers" as one of their top challenges, yet very few businesses feel they are marketing themselves effectively online. The majority are spending less than $99/year on digital advertising.
  • Canadian retailers capture only 1 of every 3 dollars spent online, and the more online shopping consumers do, the more likely it is that they purchase with chains versus local businesses.
  • Consumers want local, with 69% reporting that Canadian ownership was important to them when shopping, and more than half saying they seek out locally made products. About half of consumers report that they prefer to buy from companies right in their province or city.
  • Consumers would spend more money online with local businesses if these businesses offered convenient shipping, e-stores and a better online experience including easy navigation.

"The average Canadian consumer will spend about $1,500 on food, alcohol, gifts and travel this holiday season. If they shift just 1% - a $15 dollar purchase - of that spending to local business, their money will multiply local wealth and support stronger communities and more jobs," adds Robinson. "We hope this report spurs local businesses to improve their online presence and e-commerce capabilities to capture more of this spending."

For a copy of the report, visit www.locobc.com/resources. For more information about BC Buy Local, along with resources to help consumers find local businesses and products, visit www.bcbuylocal.com.


LOCO BC is a non-profit local business alliance in British Columbia working to strengthen communities, grow the local economy, and build strong, sustainable businesses. LOCO BC coordinates Buy Local Week, an annual celebration of local business to promote the contributions that BC businesses make to our economy and our communities. The goal of the BC Buy Local Campaign is to illuminate the local market, making BC-based businesses, products, food and wines more visible to consumers.

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