Cyber Monday feels more like 'Survival Monday' for many small businesses during COVID-19
OTTAWA -- Cyber Monday comes on the heels of a record-breaking Black Friday and analysts predict it could be record-breaking as well.
With so many people heading online to shop because of the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting to a new reality has become more important than ever to succeed as a small business.
If you’ve chosen to shop online this holiday season, you’re not the only one.
Maker House was already selling through e-commerce but has temporarily closed their retail location in order to focus on online orders.
“We’ve found the volume of online orders this year to be a bit overwhelming. We’re essentially trying to build a logistics centre overnight,” says owner Gareth Davies.
Davies says they’ve done well, as customers try to support local this shopping season.
“We’re really at the heart of it, because we’re not just a small business ourselves; we work with and represent 200 other makers.”
Ottawa-based e-commerce giant Shopify says online sales this Black Friday for Shopify-powered businesses were up 75 per cent compared to last year, with total sales of $2.4 Billion USD worldwide.
Having an online presence is crucially important, another local business owner says.
“Being competitive and having a good e-commerce platform to help people shop is really important to stay competitive,” says Ben Andrew at Trailhead Paddleshack.
The retail store continues to be open, and offers curb side pick up and online sales.
Andrew says they’re selling everything from winter gear to large items like paddle boards and kayaks online.
“What we saw picking up in March during the initial closures has continued on through. Now, people are shopping for their Christmas season and we're seeing a lot of our business has moved online,” he says.
More important than ever to support local businesses: Chamber of Commerce
Cyber Monday is not just an opportunity to get some deals, says the president of Ontario's Chamber of Commerce.
“Cyber Monday for some is ‘Survival Monday’ for so many local retailers, so many main-street companies, because the holiday season is the single biggest retail season of the year,” says Rocco Rossi.
“For our small businesses, under twenty employees, you’re looking at potentially a quarter of them not surviving the second wave,” Rossi warned.
As the pandemic continues, Rossi encourages customers to take an extra step to buy online from local retailers.
“You take that extra step, and you’re going to be making a huge difference for those small businesses.”