The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the launch of ShopKW. Help us build up and support local businesses by claiming your online profile.
The Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), focuses on its members’ needs by providing services which strengthen the local business community thereby strengthening the local economy. It is with this focus that the Chamber is working to enhance local business in the online environment through its initiative with ShopKW.ca.
ShopKW.ca is part of the ShopLocally.com network, an online platform for interactive “Shop Local” campaigns in more than 8,000 communities. Using ShopKW.ca, online customers know which products and services they can purchase locally. Customers conveniently access local businesses via their computer or mobile app, search 36 categories, and find what they want from a clothing store to a gift shop.
As a ShopKW.ca member, a business can claim their free profile including an about us business description, post updates to ShopKW, Facebook and Twitter, sell gift certificates, list hours of operation, payment methods, receive emails and have people leave reviews. With a small subscription, a business can maintain an e-mail contact list, send email newsletters, make their own online catalog of products/services, sell products online, advertise specials, offer coupons and deals and schedule their posts ShopKW, Facebook and Twitter.
To serve local businesses, ShopKW.ca wants to connect the community online saying, “We are dedicated to making the Internet work for [business owners]….” They make the Internet work by enabling customers to buy online for in-store pick-up or delivery; make shopping lists; create gift registries; save favorite businesses; even find coupons redeemable at local businesses. Customers can read and write business reviews; purchase online gift certificates, view restaurant menus, find out the days and hours businesses are open; sign up for e-mail announcements and contact businesses via email. Thus, by joining ShopKW.ca, local businesses further expand their brick and mortar environment by increasing their virtual environment, thereby serving more customers and serving them better.
As ShopKW.ca members, businesses choose the features they want their customers to see such as their business description, logo, custom banner, website design, photos/video, website link, and business hours; they also choose features they want their customers to use such as gift certificates, coupons, products/services, mobile app, shopping cart, and payment methods. With ShopKW.ca, businesses create their unique business profiles.
Overall, ShopKW.ca says “[They] built a local online marketplace and directory that features local businesses and the products and services they offer.” Therefore, the Chamber initiative with ShopKW.ca enables local businesses access to this online marketplace, encouraging customers to shop local.
So what’s next? Local businesses can sign in and claim their own personal business profile and begin the process of being part of a larger network of local businesses. They can then start to understand some of the tools that ShopKW has to offer. They can also start populating product pages that have a unique URL and begin to turn their web page into a platform that creates content similar to organizations that have multi-million dollar budgets but understand how people search on line. Lastly local businesses can sign up for information sessions that will be held locally with the Chamber and ShopKW to completely unpack the potential of this tool and how it can assist you to achieve your objectives. Watch for announcements on the ShopKW facebook page and the Chamber website.
Benefitting businesses since the first Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1750, Chambers like The Greater KW Chamber of Commerce empower local businesses to grow and succeed through Networking, Education, Member Rewards, and Advocacy. Since its founding, 131 years ago, the Chamber has expanded into one of the largest, most innovative Chambers in Canada – always focusing on serving its members better. And now, better includes enhancing local business in the online environment through membership in ShopKW.ca.