Did You Know? The Orillia area is home to more than 1,580 businesses, most of which are locally-owned and operated 'independent' businesses?
Neither did we when we first started ShopOrillia.com back in May of 2001. At the time, we guessed that there might be 400 businesses in the area. Wow, were we ever wrong.
Not only did we not know how many businesses there were, we had no idea just how many products and services were available locally that we had been driving to other communities to purchase.
It turned out that pretty much anything we needed could be found in our own backyard with some 'digging', but it required more effort than most people were willing to spend to find out what was available.
At the same time, big box stores and online mega stores with more marketing power were capturing customers' purchases and drawing them in and away from the downtown core and local independent businesses.
How It Works
To reverse this trend, we built a local online marketplace and directory that features local businesses and the products and services they offer. The site is accessible from both computers and smart phones via a mobile version.
ShopOrillia.com's community marketplace enables consumers to buy online for in-store pick-up or delivery, read and write business reviews, purchase online gift certificates, view restaurant menus, find out when businesses are open and how the can be paid, as well as contact business owners via email.
As you can imagine, all of these features offer both businesses and consumers tons of value, but the real power of ShopOrillia.com is the offline community marketing campaign that involves hundreds of businesses displaying signs and stickers that remind locals to shop locally at ShopOrillia.com.
By coming together under a common message that also drives people to a web destination where they can take action, ShopOrillia.com harnesses the collective power of the local business community to give independents a voice that's even louder than the big corporate brands that dot the landscape.
Because local independent businesses generally keep more of the money spent with them within the community than corporate chains (45% for independent vs. 15% for chains), shopping with local businesses leads to a stronger local economy.
This benefits everyone in the community as strong local economies provide greater access to opportunities and also more funding for local initiatives like parks and recreation, services and infrastructure, health and education.
By informing local shoppers about the choices available to them, as well as the hidden benefits of shopping locally, ShopOrillia.com aims to influence residents to spend more of their money locally instead of sending their dollars outside of the community where it will benefit someone else's area instead of our own.
|Lynn Martin |
1-888-430-SHOP (7467) | tech support
705-242-2111 | sales & service
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