2020; The year of lockdown or, as many of us remember it, boredom and banana bread. Questionable fruit cakes aside, 2020 was also the year that our shopping habits shifted dramatically.
Confined to our own houses with only our families and Netflix for company, we all found ourselves “adding to cart” more frequently than usual. We know Andy, the local delivery driver, a little better, and we’ve lost count of how many times “not another parcel?!” was exclaimed on hearing that familiar ring of the doorbell. However, one truly wonderful thing to come out of lockdown was that spending our hard-earned cash with small and local businesses became our way of helping our community. The era of shopping small and buying from real people is officially here, and it is here to stay.
When you place an order with an industry giant, your order goes straight into a computer, is popped in a box, then collected by a delivery company who drops it at your door. It’s a good service, we can’t argue with that, but let’s compare this process to an order placed with a small business.
A small business owner (who most likely physically made the product that you have ordered) might receive your order notification while cooking dinner or dropping their kids at school. That little ‘ping’ on their phone makes them squeal with delight and immediately embark on a celebratory “happy dance”. They rush to their office to wrap the order with the same passionate precision they initially used to create the product. They might even pen a handwritten “thank you” note or add a sheet or two of biodegradable tissue paper to enhance your shopping experience. Once their masterpiece is complete, they will then journey to the post office, wish it well on its travels and hope that you will be so thrilled with it that it might even inspire your very own happy dance upon arrival.
But of course, shopping through the UK Virtual Market is about more than a couple of celebratory freestyles; it comes with complimentary peace of mind. We understand the apprehension of placing an order through a website that we haven’t previously used. Will it come? Will it be what I ordered? Is it a scam?
Rest assured, all of the passionate and talented businesses owners on UKVM have been hand-selected and approved for membership due to the fantastic service they consistently provide. The new website makes it easy for you to get to know the brands and banish that “who am I shopping from?” doubt that would typically cloud first-time purchases.
So, we know that we’re shopping with real people from trusted businesses, it surely can’t get any better? Well, buckle up, small business shoppers. Yes, it can.
The user-friendly geolocation feature enables you to find businesses in your very own community effortlessly. Searching by location is a fantastic way to find local treats for yourself, or you can take your gift-giving to the next level by shopping for unique presents in your loved one’s local area. Use your postcode, county or town to narrow down the search for local talent.
Are you looking for handmade soap for your sister in Scotland? Easy peasy. What about candles for your cousin in Cornwall? No problem.
The UK Virtual Market provides easy access to talented creators and business owners, bringing you unique gifts and a fantastic shopping experience. The listed businesses are spread across the UK, from the hills of the Scottish Highlands to the sandy shores of England’s south coast, creating a platform that truly makes shopping local easier than ever.