The holiday season. Your birthday week. Independent Retailers Month.
Okay, so it might not make your top three list of most anticipated celebrations – but Independent Retailers Month is a real thing, which took place in July and highlighted the passionate, dedicated retailers whose work contributes to communities in a positive way.
Independent retailers come in all shapes and sizes – aka the hand-crafted soap shop in your town, the perfectly curated dress boutique you can’t get enough of, and your sister’s Etsy site. They’re crucial pillars of self-sustaining communities.
We all know the story: before our favorite big box stores hit the corner of every suburb in America, we had to rely on our proverbial corner stores for everything from sugar to hardware to engagement rings.
The positive social and economic impact of shopping local cannot be overstated – which is why taking a moment, or a month, to highlight small and medium sized local businesses (SMBs) that make a difference is helpful to everyone involved.
Now, it can be easy to think that seemingly small decisions about where we shop don’t matter. But consider this: according to Dakota Resources, one dollar spent at an indie retailer is typically spent six to fifteen times locally before finding its way out of the community. That means just one of your dollars can create five to fourteen dollars in added economic value to your local tribe.
Independent Retailers Month strives to ensure that mom and pop shops – and creative indie brands – continue to thrive in their own right. And a major part of thriving in the retail world is delivering an e-comm experience that matches consumer demand and is sustainable for stores with smaller budgets and fewer resources.
Keeping Up With the Big Boxes
There are plenty of ways that big box stores have had a much easier time when it comes to helping shoppers finance their new finds. Ever opened a credit card because you just had to have something? Or needed to finance a big appliance purchase because dishwashers are blissfully unaware of your bill schedule and will break whenever they darn well please?
>In the past, indie shops have been hard pressed to offer this same luxury – generally considered a risk that small and medium sized businesses don’t have the bandwidth to take on. In such cases, they’re automatically booted from the running if a customer needs (or wants) to finance their purchase.
There has traditionally been a gap between different payment methods for businesses. There’s the status quo of what has always been offered at independently owned retailers, and the luxury of payment options that big businesses typically extend to clients.
Now, innovative payment partners are beginning to bridge that gap. Klarna has stepped into the retail scene with accessible technology that SMBs can take advantage of, effectively disrupting the typical channels of payment and financing for indies and opening up a sea of alternative payment methods for the smart shopper.
Options like instant financing, or the ability to offer monthly payments that can easily be integrated into the checkout experience, sans redirects, allow SMBs to deliver an unbeatable customer experience. Advertising this kind of flexibility reduces buyer hesitation, all while retaining the charm that makes people want to shop there in the first place.
There are dozens of indie retailers that use the payment technology made possible by Klarna, so that they can offer the same (or better!) financing solutions as their chain or corporate competitors. So even though the celebratory month has past, let’s all take a collective vow to be aware, support our Independent Retailers, and keep paying it forward.