TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Store owners in downtown Lafayette say Cyber Monday doesn't worry them. But one Purdue expert says all small businesses could do better.
In almost every downtown in nearly every city, you'll see empty storefronts.
Purdue Professor of Consumer Sciences, Richard Fienberg, says if we want to see less of this, small businesses have to do more.
"They need to have the skill, the willingness and the time to learn what it takes to manipulate Facebook or Pinterest, or any of the other social media platforms that will help them," said Feinberg.
Purdue Professor Richard Feinberg says most small stores have little to no online presence.
Three downtown Lafayette business owners echo Feinberg's point.
Nancy Burns and Cathy Lockwood own Design Nook. David Watkins owns Two Tulips.
Lockwood said, "Social media takes a lot of time and we are busy doing other things."
"We are bad at updating and promoting our social media," said Burns.
"We don't do a lot of online sales," said Watkins. "Usually Monday after Thanksgiving is always slow, I mean everybody comes out over the weekend and now everybody is going back home so it usually is definitely slower."
That's because of Cyber Monday.
But Feinberg says in today's competitive market, almost every day is Cyber Monday. And that has a large impact on local shops.
"The future is staring everyone in the face," said Fienberg.
Downtown business owners aren't worried though.
"People come in and say you know my house better than I do," said Burns.
"To be able to feel it and touch it, that's a huge thing for our clients is to be able to actually come into the store feel it touch it, look at the sizes to make sure they would fit," said Watkins.
While it's true, the appeal of specialty boutiques can't be repeated online.
"You have to make people aware that your business exists and some of the things that you have in your store to get them to get in the car, put on a jacket, find parking and come down to your store," said Feinberg.
Fienberg says more big-box stores are extending what has traditionally been known as Cyber Monday into Cyber Week.
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