Online shopping initiative moving ahead

ShopKindersleyOnline website will inform shoppers about all the products available at local businesses and disrupt the tide of online purchases

Rick Miller, a director for the Kindersley and District Chamber of Commerce, discusses a Shop Kindersley Online program.

Kenneth Brown
of The Clarion

The Kindersley and District Chamber of Commerce is launching an initiative to get the attention of online shoppers, and the plan involves a new website.

Rick Miller, who sits on the chamber’s board of directors, is spearheading the program being referred to as ShopKindersleyOnline. The chamber issued a letter to the whole community to let people know about the program and why the chamber is taking on the initiative.

The letter states that the initiative is to encourage shopping local in Kindersley and to help stimulate economic development for businesses. An increase in online shopping takes away sales from small businesses and chamber officials hope to disrupt the trend with the organization’s new process, the letter explains.

According to the letter, the ShopKindersleyOnline website will help to inform shoppers about all the products available at local businesses and to disrupt the tide of online purchases that are being made by residents.

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One goal is to get online shoppers to start making their online purchases at local businesses, and in turn helping to strengthen the community. The planning is in its infancy, but the chamber’s board is excited about the idea and the new opportunity for the local business community.

“We have sent the letters out with our intentions to all of the members,” Miller said, recognizing the chamber is also trying to reach out to all non-members in the business community with hopes of getting them on board with the initiative.

The small businesses have to be chamber of commerce members to participate in the ShopKindersleyOnline program. The participants have to have a door doing business in Kindersley or an immediate Kindersley profile to qualify for the program.

Miller said the chamber is now looking for a group of online shoppers from the community to attend a brainstorming session with the developer for the ShopKindersleyOnline website. The chamber is looking for a group of eight to 12 online shoppers to attend the session, he recognized.

The chamber has a template in place for the website, he said. The idea is for the online shoppers to discuss what is good about the website, what they like about it, what they dislike and what they believe could work for the ShopKindersleyOnline program.

Online shoppers with an interest to participate in the brainstorming session should send an email to office@kindersleychamber.com to inquire about the session or get more information. Miller said he hopes to have the session by the end of April.

A letter regarding the brainstorming session states that the goal is to create a website for people to use, and still be able to support local businesses. The letter explains that the chamber is looking for people who enjoy online shopping to help guide the development.

“We want to make sure that it’s right,” Miller said of the website. “We’ll be taking all of their information, and we’ll be using it to further that because there’s no sense in having something that doesn’t work.”

Miller said the chamber’s goal is to launch the ShopKindersleyOnline website in the fall in time for the Christmas shopping season. There is a lot of work to be done with the business community such as consultations and informational meetings.

There is going to be a survey for local businesses to complete and the survey will be available soon. The information gathered from the online shoppers will be shared with businesses, and then the interested chamber members will be asked to provide their own feedback on the initiative and the process.

The chamber also needs to know the cost of the program, so that work has to be done and the information has to be shared with the businesses, Miller said. The website aims to go after the consumer, so it could mean a change for the businesses.

“Business will have to adapt to the website because it will be one made for consumers by consumers,” Miller said, recognizing that all of the initial planning work has to be completed and the chamber will move ahead from there.

He noted that a survey of chamber members will ask what they do for charity and what they do to support the community. The statistics will be compiled and shared with the community at large. When people spend money outside of the community, it does nothing to support local causes and it is important for people to know that, he added.

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