To promote "shop local" online shopping with Chicago retailers, a group of Chicago's top brands and some of its local retail customers banded together for the BUYCHI effort.
The one-day event took place on Friday, Dec. 13, with all participating brands listed at the website buychifriday.com, and social media efforts carrying the hashtag #BuyChiFriday.
The brands included Walter E. Smithe, Vienna Beef, Vosges Chocolates, H2O Plus, Sausages by AmyLu, Winestyr.com and Uncle Dougie's Sauces. Participating retailers included Click Shoes and More, Luxury Garage Sale and Lucila's Homemade.
"Buying local is good for everyone," said Tim Condon, CEO of Uncle Dougie's, which ships high-end BBQ Sauces, Marinades, Rubs and Bloody Mary Mixes all over the world, in a press release. "It means employment, tax revenue and cash staying in our community vs. going out of town — and we can all get behind that."
This is the first year of the effort, but BUYCHI is expected to become an annual program to raise the visibility of local Chicago online companies during holiday time.
In a wider push, BikeStoreGuys.com was launched last year by a co-op of bike stores to help local cycling shops compete against national e-commerce sites. Customers can order a bike online and pick it up in a local participating store, or have their parts and accessories shipped directly to their home. In either scenario, customers' dollars are going back to local independent bike shops in their communities.
BikeStoreGuys.com's founders said the majority of customers prefer to buy local to support their community, and also appreciate the expertise their local bike shop provides.
"Time-challenged consumers need point-and-click convenience," said Derek Stepanek, owner of Northtowne Cycling and Fitness in Cedar Rapids IA, a participating dealer in the Bike Store Guys network. "While we each have our own local store websites, Bike Store Guys gives us the ability to combine our resources with other shops to compete online on a national level and still support the 'buy local' movement."
How would you assess the e-commerce potential around buy local campaigns?