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Appleton shops participate in Cyber Monday

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 4:44 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Online shopping has become even more popular this year, as some want to avoid crowds at big box stores. But the trend is impacting small businesses, too.

“We are doing something similar to what we’ve done before,” said Christina Brown, Owner of Hoot and Company in downtown Appleton.

Hoot and Company is no stranger to Cyber Monday or online sales, but this year it’s been different.

“We’ve had a website since we’ve opened, and it was historically a very small percentage of our sales and we’ve definitely seen an increase this year,” said Brown.

That increase is important in a time when in-store traffic can be hit or miss.

“My shop in particular, where we’re located, we used to draw in a lot of foot traffic, just people being downtown,” said Brown. “And you’re just not seeing that.”

While shops like Hoot and Company have had a website and are used to using them, for other shops like Lillians this is all brand new.

“First time we’ve done a Cyber Monday sale,” said Tracey Thibodeau, a salesperson at Lillians.

It’s the first cyber Monday at Lillians because, for the first time this year, the store has a website.

“It just turned out that, once we started putting it altogether, that’s when COVID hit, so it was good timing in that respect,” said Co-owner Tom Manuel. “It wasn’t really planned, but it was just a plan that we really needed to have a website.” 17:43 – 17:54

But Manuel has noticed social media in particular playing a big role in driving sales, hence their kickoff of Cyber Monday over Facebook Live.

“Just from doing lives… and then posting different items throughout the store for sale on Facebook,” said Manuel. “So we get a lot of traction from that.”

Both shops did see a decent amount of foot traffic during the Black Friday and Small Business Saturday weekend.

“It’s not the same, and I know we keep saying let’s not compared to last year, but we were very happy, it was a very good weekend,” said Thibodeau.

“I really do believe people want to shop local. You’re seeing it. You’re seeing people shop in store, online, reaching out with questions on Facebook,” said Brown. “I mean, people are really embracing shop local.”

But they agree online sales will continue to play a role in the future.

“I think more and more people go onto the website so I think it will drive more business,” said Manuel.

“I mean I think it’s convenient, I think it’s the way that we live,” said Brown.

But even with shifting shop habits, the need for support doesn’t change, no matter how people shop local.

“This is how we can keep our businesses in the community, is (by) really shopping local,” said Brown.

Both stores offered a certain percentage off of online sales Monday.

Hoot and Company’s website can be found HERE.

Lillians website can be found HERE.

For a full list of the Appleton shops with Cyber Monday deals, click HERE.

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