Technology Serving the Local Economy
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As we indicated in our recent article “Local Consumption: Passing Consumer Trend or New Consumption Habit?”, consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the business practices and sourcing strategies of clothing retailers, including the source of products offered to them.
These concerns are leading clothing stakeholders, whether they manufacture at home or outsource, to consider the Corporate Social Responsibility concept (CSR) in their business model. A study by the fashion trends and innovation agency Trendstop indicates that during the COVID-19 crisis, local sourcing and the adoption of an ethical human resources management approach by retailers were particularly praised in public opinion and appreciated by consumers, especially those of Generation Z. Vestechpro has examined various business practices that are part of a corporate social responsibility approach and whose implementation is largely linked to the adoption of new technologies: Can the local economy benefit from them? The answer is not definitive, but the reciprocity of these two poles of attraction seems obvious. Here are some strategies to put technology to work for the local economy.
A Local Media Strategy
Currently, 86% of digital advertising revenue in Canada goes to foreign Facebook and Google platforms, compared to 14% to media here. Seduced by the reach and accessibility of the “GAFA” giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), merchants often tend to neglect domestic platforms and media (Québécor, Transcontinental, Cogeco) which could allow them to request the more targeted customers and increase the impact of their communication campaigns. Beyond the quantitative performance of the strategies, outreach in a specific geographic area and brand identification will be facilitated by using local media. In order to guide advertisers in this direction, several initiatives have recently emerged including Our local media, an online media directory, and the media movement here, a manifesto for responsible media practice and for investment in the media here.
Custom Digital Tools
Many Quebec companies in the ICT field (Information and Communications Technologies) offer high-performance tailor-made marketing solutions, including the implementation of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to better manage customer relationships and promote customer retention. For example, a Sherbrooke company offers complete marketing automation software: Leadfox application. This perfectly suited tool for SMEs, includes a domestic technical support service and guaranteed data hosting in Canada. In Montreal, Dialog Insight produces personalized marketing campaigns and guarantees a return on investment. Cyberimpact, the Quebec Mailchimp, provides contact data hosting on Canadian servers for a better delivery rate for email campaigns. Furthermore, to be successful, these online marketing strategies must be linked to a strong digital presence and an original and exciting online shopping experience.
Generate Quebec Online Sales
The first step to asserting an online business presence is without doubt the creation of a website. As such, Shopify, remains THE Canadian benchmark for online sales. There are also Quebec alternatives such as Panier d’achat offering a variety of plugins included in their package, or Lightspeed and Votresite.ca, both based in Montreal. Another winning strategy in terms of positioning: the “.québec” digital extension. This suffix allows companies to manifest themselves on the global web. Since its purchase cost is fully managed in Quebec, profits from its sale go directly into the Quebec economy. One of the challenges for stakeholders who offer locally designed and/ or manufactured products is to promote this positioning. In fact, consumer habit studies indicate that this competitive advantage is not presented in a sufficiently distinctive way. In order to remedy this, many platforms allow activities to be listed and products designed or made in Quebec to be sold, with or without a transactional site: Ma zone Québec or Signé local, created in 2015, are two examples. We can also improve the visibility of local businesses thanks to dedicated directories, such as Le Panier bleu, Solution locale, Rue principale, #Achetonslocal, MadeinMontreal, or the chic Soukmtl site which highlights local designers with a transactional site.
There are many digital stakeholders and tools that make it possible to promote the offer of local products to consumers who are increasingly interested in supporting companies and brands that demonstrate transparency. Vestechpro has the required expertise to support business owners in this process.
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