These are special times for city marketing.
We love to stroll through the city centres in our free time. Buy something nice, have a coffee, meet friends for a chat or other things. Simply enjoying leisure time and forgetting everyday life for a short time. Offline shopping has a very high leisure and recreational value. You see something different, you relax and gain new impressions.
In this year 2020, this was granted to us most of the time. And currently we have a hard lockdown again since 16 December 2020. In some states, curfews are in effect from 8pm or 9pm until 5am. With the exception of supermarkets, retailers and restaurants are closed until at least 10 January.
The city marketing gand the current situation of stationary retailers
Up to 80% of the total annual turnover is made during the Christmas period. This turnover has now almost completely escaped the traders and catering businesses. According to current statements by politicians, an end to the hard lockdown is not in sight even on 10 January 2021. This closure hits the traders to the core. Especially since many shoppers already migrated to the big online department stores during the first lockdown.
It is also a special challenge for city marketing:
- How to advertise the city?
- How to present the city as a brand?
when the local traders are closed?
The big winners 2020
The big winners in 2020 were clearly the online retailers - the big online retailers such as Amazon or Zalando. Many voices are currently being raised that a parcel tax should be introduced for parcels, for example, which would benefit the stationary retailers. But such a tax would be a step in the wrong direction. Even the HDE says that the distribution channels should not be played off against each other.
How can the stationary retail trade help itself and what role does city marketing play in this?
At PR Agentur PRO, we have often reported on digilogisation in the retail sector, which is a special form of digitalisation. Individual retailers cannot suddenly open online shops overnight and be successful. A strategy is needed, a good marketing strategy. After all, you have to compete against already existing online retailers. SEO activities will also not achieve positive results overnight - SEO should always be seen in the long term.
However, local retailers in a city can join forces and set up an online shopping mall, for example. The aim here should be to preserve the townscape. So the local shops should continue to exist so that the townscape is preserved. This online shopping mall should represent more than just an interconnected presentation of different shops. Cities can do more. Cities and their local businesses have personal contact and face-to-face interaction with their visitors. Just as a city is advertised offline, an entire city can be advertised online.
One platform for all traders in a city
As I said, this platform must offer more than just online shops. It must offer the possibility for customers to engage directly with traders. Traders, in turn, can also talk directly with customers and potential customers. Groups can be formed on such a platform, forum discussions on various topics and much more. Even trade fairs can be organised.
Traders share the advertising costs, among other things.
The advertising costs are spread over many and not just one. In the community, local retailers can achieve a lot. Also, the tasks to be done on such a platform are divided among different heads for the benefit of all.
The city marketing - the cityscape should be preserved
In general, it should also be in the spirit of city marketing if the traders become active and found such a platform. The analogue world is usefully complemented by the digital world. The cityscape can be preserved.
Everyone pulls together
If, at the end of the day, everyone pulls together, local traders, city marketing, then it can be possible to defy the online giants and preserve the local shops. Jobs can also be preserved. The tasks of each individual may change.
The "digiloge" - digital - shopping mall for local retailers / businesses