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Independent retailers in Exeter need your support more than ever. After such a turbulent year, this festive shopping period will be vital for many businesses throughout the city centre.
It is Small Business Saturday on 5th December, a campaign which is now in its eighth year in the UK and the campaign has grown significantly each year with an estimated £800m spent in small businesses across the UK on 2019's Small Business Saturday, with a record turnout of 17.6 million people choosing to shop small on the day.
Ahead of this special day for small businesses across city, when many of them will be gladly reopening their doors after lockdown, there is not a more perfect time to support our indies and shop small.
Ann Hunter, manager of InExeter and board director of Exeter Chamber comments: “While news that non-essential retailers will be able to open again is very welcome, it’s important for those businesses to be ready to accommodate any sort of trade that is available to them. InExeter are doing what we can to support the independents with our #ShopLocal campaign to encourage spending in the city in the run up to Christmas especially. We urge people to support Exeter’s independents where and however possible, as doing so will make an enormous difference to business owners, their suppliers, and their employees.”
Visit the Exeter Virtual Christmas Market
Visit Exeter have launched their first ever Virtual Christmas Market. The aim of the initiative is to promote local businesses online in the run up to Christmas, during and following England’s second national lockdown.
The Virtual Christmas Market website takes shoppers on a virtual journey of Exeter, showcasing the brilliant gifts and products offered by Exeter’s indie retailers which are available to buy even while their physical premises are closed. There’s also information on businesses who have remained open for essential shopping and for click and collect services, as well as food & drink businesses who are offering takeaway services during the lockdown.
Browse the Christmas Market at: www.visitexeter.com/virtualchristmas
For businesses navigating the change in restrictions as we emerge from lockdown 2 here are five top tips for Exeter businesses to get Christmas ready:
1. Can your customers find you online?
It is so important that your online information is up to date to ensure customers know how, where and when they can visit your stores or if you are accepting online orders. From basics such as contact details to Google Ads to signposting help with digital skills, the Heart of the South West Digital Skills Partnership is there to help and support. Contact Charlotte Collyer for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. How’s your social media?
Both Exeter Chamber and InExeter have campaigns in place to support independent businesses. Use local and national campaign hashtags in your posts to make them more visible to potential customers such as:
#shoplocal #supportlocal #wearestrongertogether #indiesexeter #Exeterindies
3. Make sure your business is listed on Visit Exeter’s Virtual Christmas Market
4. Click and Collect or Deliveries
If your shop is operating a delivery or click and collect service, Reach Plc and In Your Area have created a completely FREE search tool for you to list your business to help users find local shops offering delivery or click and collect services near them.
Exeter’s Co Delivery have also got great offers available for businesses needing help with their delivery offering.
In the run up to Christmas Co Delivery are offering Exeter businesses next day parcel delivery for less than Royal Mail second class postage delivered using their beautiful orange electric cargo bikes.
- £3 per delivery including VAT – Co Delivery will bill retailer at end of month
- Co Delivery will pick up any delivery orders placed with them before 3pm the previous day between 9.30am and 10.30am the following day.
- Delivery will take place the same day as pick up
- Sign up at co-delivery.tookan.in
- Delivery area shown here
- Watch a video on how to sign up here
5. Need help with logistics?
City Science have developed a FREE tool called RUSH to help plan logistics for your deliveries and schedules. RUSH is a free to use WebApp that utilises algorithms combined with open-source mapping to derive optimal delivery routing and scheduling plans. Find out more about how to use it here: https://www.cityscience.com/case-study/rush-tool/
And finally, need a little Christmas cheer? See InExeter’s Christmas film here: https://bit.ly/InExeterChristmas2020
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