The District hosts virtual shopping event to support local businesses
COLUMBIA - Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, downtown Columbia’s non-essential businesses are finding new ways to promote shopping locally.
Each spring, the District hosts the Spring Shop Hop, which allows businesses to share sales and special offers while enjoying complimentary refreshments downtown. Due to social distancing, the weekend event was moved to an online livestream using Zoom.
Businesses located in downtown Columbia were able to give a short presentation of new products and deals from business owners during a Facebook livestream.
“I can’t tell you how many customers who said they had the livestream on all day,” said Christina Kelley, owner of Makes Sense.
Makes Scent is a custom perfumery that sells items for the bath, body, and the home. With customers unable to smell the products, the livestream allowed customers to see the items in a way that has not been done before.
“We are limited to just describing the scents that we carry, but we have added lots of new products that our customers should be excited about.”
Kelley says her business is currently closed to in-person customers, but believes the livestream opened up her business to a new, broad audience.
“Some of the viewers may have never heard about our business before,” said Kelley. “They got to get a little taste of our business from the comfort of their couch."
The video of the livestream currently has almost 6,000 views. One customer said, “This is a neat idea for customers to learn more about local businesses.”
The full livestream is available on the District’s Facebook page.