Skip to content
Sponsored Content

15 reasons to shop local instead of online

There are benefits to in-person shopping beyond just supporting your neighbours

There is nothing more convenient than whipping out your phone, typing in a URL (or opening an app), perusing offerings, and hitting a few buttons to buy something…anything…everything.

We even get our groceries that way these days. But as convenient as online shopping seems, there are several reasons to shop local.

In person is the way to go this Small Business Season. If you can suspend disbelief for a few minutes, we’ll explain why.

Our favourite reasons to shop local during small business season

Yes, online shopping is convenient. You don’t have to change out of your PJs and it’s always open. But in the t-chart of holiday shopping options, there are a lot of reasons to shop local.

Here are a few of our favourites:

You’re supporting your neighbours.

When you support Small Business Season and shop local, you are supporting your neighbors and they are more likely, in turn, to keep the money you spent with them local as well (for every $100 spent locally, $68 of it stays local).

You are able to get in-person advice.

Not sure of the right size, colour, or other option? Maybe you want to buy something but don’t know what else you need to make that purchase complete (like buying a fishing rod without any hooks or lures).

An in-person shopping experience can help you straighten out the choices. Small business owners offer complete information and suggestions and you can ask questions about those suggestions. Doing that via chat online can be cumbersome and delayed as they are answering questions from several other shoppers at the same time.

You know what you’re getting.

Have you ever ordered something online only to be disappointed when it arrives? Maybe it’s smaller than you thought or the colour is just too much. Online images can be very hard to discern. (Remember that dress a few years back? What colour was that any way?) If you don’t read the description carefully, your item may be smaller (or larger) than expected and may not include things you had assumed came with it.

Even when you do read the description, some items are sized differently or have unexpected variations. Don’t even get us started on what happens then.

Screenshot 2021-11-16 10.03.35 AM

For every $100 spent locally, $68 of it stays local.

Local yields easier returns.

Even though you have a clear understanding of what you’re buying when you buy in person, sometimes you need to return your purchase. When you do, it’s easier to do it locally than to send something back to an online store. Between paying for shipping to going to the post office and insuring it, bringing it back to a local business is generally easier than online returns.

Satisfaction guaranteed.

If you’re not satisfied with what you purchased, but it’s not something you can bring back (like a service or a food item), you know how to get in touch with the local provider. Some online sellers make it impossible to speak to a human. Try arguing your point with AI that uses keywords and automated language responses. Talking to the local business owner is much easier and they may be able to suggest something that is more along the lines of what you’re looking for.

Local shopping becomes an experience.

Yes, online shopping is quick, but you also have no memory of doing it. This can lead to overbuying. How many times during the holiday do you come home to find a package on your door step and you can’t remember what you purchased?

You’ll remember when you go out. Plus, when you shop in-person or local, you can invite friends, family, or just make a pleasurable outing for yourself. This creates appealing memories of a wonderful seasonal experience.

It brings on the holiday spirit.

When you are out among the sounds and smells of the holiday, it brightens your mood. Who doesn’t love sparkling lights, glitter, snow (real or fake), and all of the happy tunes of the season? It’s hard to get those same smiles shopping online.

You may miss the best things when you only go online.

When you shop online, you do a few searches for things you are looking for. You are less apt to stumble across the perfect gift or item because you are on a targeted mission and only see what the online store presents. When you’re shopping in person, there are a lot of serendipitous moments where something catches your eye and you walk out knowing you found a treasure.

You meet and interact with people.

When you shop in-person, you meet and interact with people. We have been sequestered long enough. There’s something to be said from those chance meetings that occur when walking around town. Who knows–you could meet your next business partner or a former friend.

From the warm smile of the business owner to a suggestion, compliment, or affirmation you receive from a fellow shopper, there are many times when these sorts of introductions can be very helpful.

No worries about delivery this small business season when shopping local.

With ports backed up and short-staffing throughout the supply chain, there’s a lot of talk about potential delivery delays this holiday. If you shop in-person, you won’t need to worry about this.

In-person shopping is perfect for procrastinators.

Sure, there are some online mega retailers who can get an item to you same day depending on where you live, but most times–especially as we get closer to the actual holiday–your best bet for last-minute gifts is a local shop. If you’re a procrastinator, feel free to take this reason to shop local as permission. You’ll feel less stressed about waiting, plus you won’t be depending on someone else’s delivery schedule.

Displays help you visualize.

Store displays are better than “you might also like” options in online stores. After all, the online suggestions are based on the buying patterns of others or using products the online retailer links together. Store displays are created (and stores are arranged) to help you find what you need and want. Collections are curated with the shopper in mind. You may find a lot of treasures browsing that way.

Window shopping can lead to ideas.

When you shop in-person around the holidays you’ll be treated to beautiful window and decoration displays. These could inspire your holiday home décor or help you figure out something for your hard-to-buy-for aunt. A display may also draw you into trying a new business that you hadn’t noticed before. There are so many serendipitous possibilities when shopping in-person this Small Business Season.

You could find your next job.

If you shop in-person, you’ll quickly realize how many businesses are hiring. Who knows. You might decide to work at your favorite shop over the holidays.

One’s couch has never been the setting for a Hallmark holiday movie but Main Street certainly has.

And we all love those movies, don’t we?     

We aren’t telling you to never shop online again. Online shopping is simply too convenient and there are many times when you can get things delivered online faster than you are able to clear your schedule and shop in-person. There are also many local sellers that have an online presence so you can buy online and still “shop local.”

Still, there are several reasons to shop local, including the ability to spread some holiday cheer to your local businesses this Small Business Season.

Those business owners would just love to see your smiling face!

This Small Business Season, let’s give local and small businesses something to be thankful for. Let’s give them the gift of our support.

Business and community partners – we invite you to help promote our Shop Wellington County initiative! Download your free social media toolkit here, and share through your social media channels when you can using the provided images and captions!

We are always working to promote Shop Local and Small Business Season (hint: it’s every season!) and looking for businesses to profile. If you’re a small business and would like to be profiled, click here.

We also have free advertising opportunities currently to participate in the Wellington County Coupon Book (sign up here) and the new Digital Welcome Wagon (sign up here).


String Theory Yarn Shop is a bright, welcoming yarn shop located in Fergus. The store opened in October 2020 and offers something for everyone, from affordable premium acrylics to luxury wools, local hand dyed and alpaca yarns.

Also stocked in store are crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, and needle felting kits as well as needles, tools, and notions. In-house classes have started and the shop boasts a cozy, drop-in, sit and stitch area which is quickly becoming a favourite spot to work on a project by the fire. Community, Connection, Creativity - in the heart of downtown Fergus.

EloraFergus Today Member Features(4)

As a new business, String Theory Yarn Shop has already been proudly and actively involved in the community, as a sponsor of the Elora St. John's Poppy project, a co-creator of the Rainbow Love Shawl Kit in collaboration with Fergus Yarn Co. which went on to raise just over $1,600 for Guelph Pride, as a sponsor of the Red Scarf Project which raises awareness and funds for AIDS/HIV in the community, and most recently as a supporter on the Art-Not-Shame blanket knitting fundraiser. Miranda also serves on the Downtown Fergus BIA executive, and as the head of their Awareness committee.

Joining the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce is one of the first things owner Miranda Holmes did when opening String Theory Yarn Shop, and utilized the Chamber’s Ribbon Cutting service to help celebrate her opening. Since opening, Miranda appreciates being able to stay informed on relevant business updates and looks forward to increased networking opportunities as COVID-19 restrictions relax.

After only three months in business in 2020, String Theory Yarn Shop was nominated multiple times into two different categories for the annual Awards of Excellence, a success story by anyone’s definition!

You can connect with String Theory Yarn Shop at and on Facebook at and @stringtheoryyarnshop on Instagram.

Are you interested in joining the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce? Learn more about membership and benefits at