I choose to shop independent as much as I can, they are my first choice. Which is why I created my Christmas mission a couple of years ago.
I was on a mission to do all my Christmas shopping (or as much as I could) at independent shops. I did some at independent shops locally, that was the easy part. I knew where they were. But as they did not have everything I needed, I resorted to finding the rest at independent shops online.
That is when my mission failed. I simply could not find the independent shops I needed online. I knew they were out there. Finding them seemed impossible. After hours and hours of searching, I had to give up.
At the same time, I was running my online shop Another Gorgeous Day. I was getting a lot of orders and the shop was doing really well, but it was a daily struggle to compete against the big boys online. I was trying to get on the first page of Google and up against big shops with big marketing budgets. I knew how hard it was to get shoppers when you run an independent shop online.
That was my light bulb moment! My brain raced off with hundreds of ideas and the idea to create a shopping directory for independent online shops came to me.
I put the two sides together, shoppers want to easily find these shops, shops are forever working hard to get the shoppers to find them.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was one place online that you could go to, to find independent shops online for all your shopping needs. Not just gifts at Christmas, but for all your day to day needs. For your hobbies, sports, homes, day to day needs, pet supplies, DIY, food etc etc. Everything.
Wouldn’t it be brilliant if there was a place online that was like walking down a high street. The shops are there to browse, then if you like the look of them, you walk into each shop to browse further or make a purchase. A shopping directory where you can easily browse the shops and click through to their website.
There are lots of marketplaces online, where the shopper remains on someone else’s website to buy the product and never actually visits the shop who will send you your order. I wanted it to be a directory, so shops could get found easily and shop directly with them.
My shopping directory is inspiring. Not a dull list that is impossible to browse. Plus, very importantly, I make sure that all the shops I include are independently owned, run in the UK and have good customer service. They all are shops that can be trusted.
Every day I realise how brilliantly helpful the shopping directory is. My mission of helping people choose to shop independent every single day is coming to life.
Every time I add one more shop to the directory, it becomes more and more helpful.
The search for more and more shops to include continues. All kinds of shops, for all our everyday needs.
Today I was looking for a knitting pattern and wool. My aunty loves to knit. As the dark nights draw in, she finds the days long and so I always give her something to knit this time of year. She enjoys it.
So, I went onto Google looking for cowl knitting pattern and wool. Browsing through, it was page 3 before I found an independent shop, there was only 1 on this page. On page 4 there where 2 shops.
Imagine going onto my shopping directory and choosing the category for knitting shops (or whatever type of shop you need) and knowing every single one that came up is a decent shop and independently owned in the UK.
I can’t wait until I have every kind of shop on my directory. I am so excited about being able to easily find independent shops online for all our needs.
As a shop owner, coming together in one place, as one big, combined voice has so many benefits and means a much better chance of getting found on Google. We can all help and support each other to compete online.
There are so many reasons why shopping at independents is a must for all of us. Choosing to shop independent, for all our needs has so many benefits. I wrote about them in Why Shopping at Independent Shops is a Good Thing.
As a shop, coming together in one place has so many benefits too. I have pulled them all together in Benefits of Being a Member of Love Our Shops UK.
Sharing independent shops online at Love Our Shops UK shopping directory.
I love independent shops, whether online or on the high street.
Shop with them.
Let them be your first choice for all your needs.
Let them be your automatic choice because they are the best.
There are so many wonderful shops on my shopping directory. Every day more and more are joining. I am excited to have them all on-board Love Our Shops UK.
You can browse the shops here.
You can browse the products here.
Tags: Behind the Scenes, Shop Independent, Shopping Inspiration