Are Indie Stores 'Digitally Poor'?
There are millions of indie stores in the world who don’t get to succeed online. They get ripped off by web designers and coders, have to pay local taxes unlike many Amazon sellers, don’t have access to cheap money from Wall St. like Amazon.com, and get attacked by hackers looking to steal credit cards, all factors which prevent them from running their business, helping their customers, and servicing their communities. Because of these expenses and obstacles, their websites often don’t survive for more than a few years. They may even give up completely, have no website, and just have a non-selling, informational page on Facebook. They won’t be able to help their customers make purchases online, view past orders, and become a digital, omni-channel business. They are stuck in an analog world where they can only sell to customers in their neighborhood, a neighborhood filled with customers who increasingly don’t want to shop in store and instead prefer digital. This sets the store owner up for failure because it’s not where its customers want to shop. The small store owner and its employees who may take over the business are stuck in a cycle of ‘digital poverty’ and disadvantage. What if there was a way to fix this poverty, help level the playing field, and nurture indie businesses online?
I believe that Bridge can be this helping hand. I believe that Bridge delivers the most powerful solution to help indies stores offer an e-commerce site with vast selection, security, and ease. Using an indie store's Bridge Store, customers can shop online or shop online and pick up in-store. By getting indie stores to team up with brands and share 60,000+ products, we've created a platform where this year thousands of shoppers will purchase millions of dollars online. We're proud that these millions go to our community businesses instead of to Amazon or other Wall St.-backed entities. Bridge is breaking the cycle of digital poverty and helping unify our industry.
ps - A special thanks to the Charity Water for the inspiration to pen this manifesto above. Charity Water has a message on its wall relating to clean water that was featured in the New York Times. I took inspiration from that to create the above. Thank you, Charity Water.