I have worked at my parents' family owned business (Music Scene) since it begun nearly seven years ago. Getting into this business I have learned a lot about retail, and the shift to an online market. I have seen first-hand the struggles of a mom and pop business trying to compete against an entire online world market that can sell you pretty much whatever you want with just a few clicks.
Our store sells instruments, accessories, and books. As most of you well know, all of these items can be purchased online. The benefits I list below can not only be applied to us as a music store, but to any business that sells merchandise in their building.
Benefit 1 - You get to touch and feel the instrument or product before you buy it.
Have you ever purchased something online, then it shipped to you and it was not what you thought it would be? This happens daily around the globe. When you go locally this problem does not occur, for example: when you buy here at Music Scene you get to try out the instrument before making your buying decision.
Benefit 2 - You get expertise, and real life person to person help and advice.
Yes, online always has a description that tells you what the product is and that description tries to make the product sound incredible, but no savvy description can beat the real world expertise of a human who can talk to you and personally answer all of your questions about the product.
Benefit 3 - You are supporting your own community.
When you buy something local the tax dollars you spend on the product stays local, which means that money is going to go to something actually close to you, such as the roads you drive on and your local schools.
Benefit 4 - When you purchase local you help keep local employment levels up.
When you purchase something from the local shop your dollars help that business, which will insure that they will be able to continue to provide jobs in the community for now, and for the future.
Benefit 5 - You never know the connections you may make.
When you go and purchase locally you never know what connection you might make. Local businesses help keep the community feel, and helps connect the community with one another. You never know who you might see when you are out shopping.