The CEO of the popular TV show Gadgets Martina Zammit took to LinkedIn last week to appeal to shoppers to buy locally during the upcoming Black Friday sales and Christmas period.
Ms Zammit, who is also director of video production service VSQUARED and a radio host on Vibe FM’s The Morning Vibe, expressed concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local retailers.
“Plenty of local shops and businesses have gone online or increased their online presence in 2020 due to the pandemic,” she said. However, “considering that most shopping will be done online, how much of it will be done from Malta-based online shops?”
WhosWho.mt reached out to Ms Zammit to find out why she believes shopping locally is so important, and what businesses can do to attract online shoppers.
“It should be in everyone’s interest to inject money into the local economy,” she says. “Supporting local businesses means encouraging local prosperity, helping jobs to be retained and new job opportunities to be created.”
She also believes that shopping locally is a means of reducing consumers’ environmental impact, especially considering that local shopping often means less packaging and more efficient shipping.
But local retailers have a way to go before they can attract online shoppers. If they cannot offer a physical experience, what measures can they take to make themselves attractive to the local consumer?
Ms Zammit says, “Local businesses need to be capable of leaving a great impression on their customers by offering the best service possible, including by ensuring that their online shopping experience is on point.”
“What sets local businesses apart from their foreign competitors is the fact that they have the opportunity to deliver their products within hours, if not minutes. So the first thing local businesses need to consider is fast delivery.”
“Nowadays people are after immediacy,” she stresses, so they need to be able to deliver products to their customers within a maximum time frame of 24 hours.
She also says that another “very important part of the formula” would be clear and attractive refund policies, such as offering money back.
“Customers need to feel a sense of confidence, security and trust, which are all factors that retailers need to consider with respect to their customer service policies.”
She continues, “Customers need to know that they're going to be able to return unwanted products and get their money back without any hassles.”
Finally, Ms Zammit emphasises that none of these elements can possibly work without an effective marketing strategy, which “is crucial for any business to succeed in the globalised world we're living in”.
@tinz_zee via Instagram