How does Main Street “Brick & Mortar” survive and THRIVE?by Rob Sysak, January 23, 2017
How does Main Street “Brick & Mortar” survive and THRIVE?
The West Queen West (WQW) is the Art & Design District, the Creative Heart of Toronto, and one of Toronto’s amazing 82 BIAs. The WQW Board and its 400 members share the same philosophy; every day is a day to celebrate “Art & Culture”, all the while bringing commercial success to everyone in the neighbourhood.
So far, so good!
- October 26th, 2011- “Neighbourhood of the Year” at the inaugural TABIA Awards
- September 5th, 2014- Vogue International declares WQW the 2nd Coolest Neighbourhood in the World!
- June 23rd, 2016- Cushman & Wakefield “Cool Streets Report” places WQW in the top 15 coolest retail streets in North America
- August 3rd, 2016 – Huffington Post readers declare WQW is number one in the Country!
BUT times are changing; so how does WQW, its SMB, its “Brick & Mortar” continue to not only survive, but THRIVE? What does Main Street “Brick & Mortar” need to do?
Small Business must start acting like BIG Business; and thanks to digital technologies they can do that.
WQW has started down this path successfully.
A Toronto Mall sold $100,000 of gift Cards EVERY DAY in December 2016
Why not in WQW and our Brick & Mortar?
- In November of 2016, WQW partnered with #Any card and introduced the #FIRST neighbourhood e-Gift-Card.
- WQW E-Gift-Cards can be used at Over 80 WQW members.
A NEW revenue tool for WQW & its Members
- Almost $10,000 has been spent on the WQW e-Gift-Card
- Money which must be spent at our participating members
- Great for contests, giveaways & keeping it local
Easy & convenient to use for Customer
- The customer simply shows the e-gift card on their mobile device in-store and the merchant logins to the AnyCard portal, enters the 9-digit authentication code and amount being redeemed.
- The whole process takes seconds and the customer is on their way.
The following WQW businesses have already redeemed their first WQW E-Gift Card:
- Dufflet Pastries, H Bar, Lisa Marie’s, Entice, Brika, The County General, Iceman Video Games, Greek Co, Niche Tea & Coffee Company, Canon Blanc, Original Penguin, Mini Mioche, Rickshaw Bar, Good Hearts, Jacob & Sebastian, Natrel, R Squared Café, & Ella + Elliot
Digital Gift Card Trends
- Digital Gift card sales are estimated to reach $15 Billion by 2017.
- 56% of consumers surveyed would like to keep gift cards stored on their phones
- Easily accessible and decreases chances at being lost or stolen
- 74% of 18 to 24-year-old consumers are interested in keeping gift cards on their phones (Almost 80% of people living in WQW area are millennials)
The First FREE Neighbourhood Wi-Fi
WQW has partnered with Besify to offer Toronto’s First Neighbourhood Free Wi-Fi (WQW Free Wi-Fi).
WQW – Free Wi-Fi will cover the entire 2 kilometer WQW stretch on Queen Street West from Bathurst to Gladstone.
- Visitors to WQW will be able to use the WQW Free Wi-Fi during their entire visit to WQW.
- FREE Wi-Fi
- WQW now is able to market our events and members in a hyper local way
- Visitors can shop, dine, watch a show, listen to great bands live, and share their experiences in WQW on their social media outlets, all the while logged on to Free WQW Wi-Fi.
- A new revenue stream
- Hyper Local advertising opportunities for members
- WQW will now be able to get valuable analytics to help us spend our limited budget wisely and successfully.
- No more anecdotal stats; now its actual stats
Thanks to digital technologies Shopping local has never been easier, convenient or fun.
Now’s the time for Main Street “Brick & Mortar” to start acting BIG!
Valentines Day is almost here!