Colchester Christmas Shopping
Is it me, or does everyone seem to order on Amazon? All of the time. Now, the speed, convenience and sometimes the price tempt us all from time to time. However, after the year that we have had, and the cost of closures to our local shops and hospitality outlets, please try to support them this year when doing your Christmas shopping. 
It has to be said that some local businesses haven't made it as easy as it could be to shop with them. So if you are a local business, please look at your opening times (I was in town early on Saturday and two independent shops were not open at 9.00am). I actually went back later and purchased from both of them but many people would not go back. Your online presence is so very important and I know that we like to go on about it (a little!), but it's true. Have a local shop window online and allow people to order online or phone and collect. Visibility is key. If you have missed the boat for this year then make this a priority and be effective online for the January sales, Valentine's Day, Easter etc etc. I recently followed up with one of our new shop website clients. He was getting orders already without having promoted his new online shop service! If the demand is there then people will use you. 
So back to shopping and how to do it locally. Now we all like a bargain, but sometimes when you go to a town centre you see gifts that you would never have come across or looked for online. A personal touch is always appreciated and the recipient will feel loved knowing that you saw something and thought of them. If you want to cut costs park out of town and walk or walk in from home if you can. The time that it can take to browse online could be spent walking through Castle Park and into town. Treat yourself to lunch or a coffee and a cake. Again, you are supporting outlets that have been shut this year and that really need a boost. The list of independent options is extensive in Colchester so there is something for everyone. 
If you can't get to a shop physically, you could call ahead. If your local shop has something that you want then they will sell it to you. There is no waiting for a delivery. Many local businesses will allow you to do a kerbside collection or they may deliver. Dealing with a person makes the possibilities and the flexibility all the more real and can beat the speed at which your parcel is thrown on your doorstep by big companies who are just trying to get as much out as possible, all year long. 
Finally, businesses and gifts come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Events are coming back and there are some cracking options in Colchester that would make a great present and give someone something to look forward to, particularly after 2020! Similarly, you can support your local pub or restaurant by arranging a meal for someone, as a thank you or a Christmas gift. We are even offering it'seeze vouchers this year if you know someone who needs a great website? So please, think outside of the box and if you can go to a shop, or give them a ring to see if they can help you, before ordering online, then you may just make someone's day and be left satisfied at the great service on offer closer to home. 
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