NorthShoreShops.com (northshoreshops.com), a Virtual Shopping District, is changing how consumers shop locally by hosting the inventory of small businesses on the North Shore of Chicago all on one website. Launched by Tacklebox Brand Partners, shoppers can easily browse all of the local stores on one website without ever leaving their home.
Browse Local-Area Merchants Online
The North Shore Shops platform offers consumers a new and simple way to find and support local businesses, while also providing local-area merchants new ways to generate awareness, capture new customers, and boost sales — even if their doors are closed due to COVID-19. This ecommerce website is the first of its kind based in the Chicago suburbs, launching before the model goes national, changing how buyers shop in small communities from coast to coast.
“Many businesses — especially small retailers and restaurants — have been caught off-guard and do not have the strong ecommerce capabilities to get through this,” David Kelbaugh, NorthShoreShops.com’s founder and owner of Tacklebox Brand Partners, said in a release sent to Independent Retailer. “So we decided to do something about it.”
Finding A Solution
Among the hardest hit by COVID-19 are small businesses. While some merchants shifted their entire model online and started offering curbside pick-up, those who do not have the resources are falling behind. The goal for North Shore Shops is to eventually become a nationwide platform to help those indie retailers who are struggling to get through this pandemic. Kelbaugh and the team at Tacklebox, a Winnetka-based branding marketing firm, worked around the clock to develop an online solution for retailers and small businesses in the area. The result is a scalable model for geography-based online shopping.
How North Shore Shops Works
When a consumer visits NorthShoreShops.com, they can easily and intuitively buy goods, services, and gift cards directly from local stores with just a few clicks. The secure credit card payments will go to Tacklebox, who will then distribute the funds to the merchant and connect the shopper with the merchant so that they can arrange delivery, pick-up, and/or shipping.
The Virtual Shopping District is free for merchants and the technology fee is covered by a five percent surcharge, which is added to the cost of the item. Kelbaugh and his team are receiving no payment for the program. Merchants who are already realizing the benefits of being on the platform include: Vivid Art Gallery, Classic Kids, Sole + Luna Wellness, Bedside Manor, Messy Bun Boutique, Massage Therapy Center of Winnetka, and more.
North Shore Shops is currently working on expansion and opening this online, scalable model in other communities across the country as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. Interested merchants who want to sell their products or services on the platform should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They just need to fill out a quick form and they will be on the site in 12-24 hours.