Cyber Monday: NYC’s mom and pop stores hope for big boost in sales

Cyber Monday: NYC’s mom and pop stores hope for big boost in sales

Experts say it’s crucial for the city’s small businesses to have cyber deals.

A man shops online
A man shops online Photo Credit: BV’s Grill

Big Apple mom-and-pops will tap into the Cyber Monday energy Monday to get a piece of the $1.7 billion in online sales.

Small businesses throughout the five boroughs are taking part in the annual promotion and are offering discounts from everything to wine, jewelry and household itmes.

Digital advocates and entrepreneurs said Big Apple shops are making a bigger push this year when it comes to online integration and it is crucial for them to take part in Cyber Monday.

“If they come on [to the website] and don’t see those deals, they will go and shop somewhere else,” Chrisie Canny, co-owner of the Bay Ridge-based online jewelry shop Fortune Keeper said.

Digital-tracking service comScore found that spending on Cyber Monday jumped 18% last year and the number of shoppers heading online has been rising steadily since the late ’90s, when consumers flocked to their high-speed office computers to shop.

Americans spent $1.7 billion during the 2013 Cyber Monday, up from $1.5 billion the year before, according to the analysis.

In fact, the majority of the day’s online customers were New Yorkers who used their smartphones, tablets and computers to get gifts, according to an IBM analysis last year.

Retailers and shops all over the city say they want to tap into that consumer base.

David Shulman, the co-owner of Boundless Brooklyn, in Fort Greene, will be selling his souvenirs at a 20% discount online during their first Cyber Monday.

“We don’t really have any expectations,” he said. “It’s something that’s expected of retailers. And we wanted to do something symbolic.”

Fortunately, the boom in tech startups throughout the city has made it easier for the mom-and-pops to step up their game online, according to Laura Mignott, the co-founder of Digital Flash, a Manhattan company that helps businesses grow their online presence.

In the last year, local shops have better access to firms that can create better websites and holiday marketing campaigns, she said.

“We’ve seen a shift that creative and technology is marrying up with each other and there are benefits,” Mignott said. “New York is the epicenter of this.”

Brian Leventhal, the co-founder of Brooklyn Winery, which is offering 25% off all orders Monday, agreed. Leventhal, who did a Cyber Monday deal last year, said having customers check out the work his team did recently to their website.

“It’s much more seamless. It’s visually better,” he said.

The winery is one of the borough’s businesses that will get a boost from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which launched brooklynmade.nyc Sunday night. The website will point customers to some of the borough stores that will offer online discounts today.

Carlo Scissura, the chamber’s president, said many of the borough’s store owners increased their web presence this year to take their marketing online.

“The hope is you see a great deal from store online, you see a great product and you come into the store,” he said.

Mignott, said the push by community groups, as well as the notifications made by the stores on their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media pages, has now evened the online playing field for small businesses. She recommended that the store owners should use Cyber Monday as a springboard for the future of their online sales.

“Whatever you are doing that day you have to keep doing it on every platform throughout the month,” she said.

(With Sarah Allam)

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