December 7, 2021
New Alberta online marketplace makes it a snap to shop local
ChamberMarket helps businesses compete for growing e-commerce market share
Edmonton – A new made-in-Alberta online marketplace will give consumers immediate access to many of the province’s favourite merchants and makers, while fortifying Alberta businesses as they navigate through the pandemic recovery.
Spearheaded by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce in partnership with local chambers, Chamber Market is a powerful new online platform in time for the holidays. The site makes it easy for consumers to shop local, and includes unique Alberta products not found on multi-national e-commerce sites.
“This is good old-fashioned Alberta entrepreneurial spirit at work finding long-term solutions to help the local retail sector overcome significant e-commerce competition challenges that have been amplified by the global pandemic,” said Ken Kobly, president and CEO of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.
“Not only does this give incredible exposure to businesses,a consumer crunched for time can – from the convenience of their own home –purchase decorative hand towels from Lloydminster, leather wallets from Blackfoot, and wooden board games from Airdrie, while stocking their holiday cupboards with coffee, spirits and baked goods from local producers.”
Kobly says while Chamber Market serves a long-term need for Alberta businesses to gain a foothold in the ultra-competitive and rapidly accelerating global e-commerce marketplace, it will also serve an important immediate role this holiday season as the demand for some items, like toys, are at an all-time high. Yet major backlogs and shutdowns continue to persist due to COVID-19’s impacts on international sea, air and land shipping.
“With family visits still being restricted by the pandemic,there’s an added sense of security knowing that gifts and purchases are not reliant on international transportation.”
Chamber Market also plays a role in elevating the work of artists and artisans, like Drumheller-based Amanda Brown. When she was temporarily laid off during COVID-19, she turned her crocheting hobby into a side hustle.
“I’ve sold most of my crocheted creations to customers in the U.S. using a global platform,” Brown said. “Joining Chamber Market will help me sell them in Alberta, which means a lot to me as someone who was born and raised here.”
While there are currently more than 1,200 items up for sale on Chamber Market, the goal is to expose more and more products and services from local businesses to consumers, something business leaders think will come quickly once more business owners are aware of the opportunity to advertise their wares and services on the site for only a nominal $25 processing and registration fee.
Matricia Bauer, a member of the Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce and the artist behind Warrior Women, says ChamberMarket can help Indigenous business owners market their goods.
“Most Indigenous business owners sell their products using social media alone,” Bauer said. “This platform brings them into the mainstream, by making them accessible and visible.”
Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber Market online shopping tool is likely to bring more customers into stores as well.
“By creating new ways to access so many hidden gems across Alberta, Chamber Market will increase awareness of local products and services, driving traffic to stores and facilitating online purchases and order fulfilment through an easy-to-use platform. It offers Alberta businesses, many of which don’t have e-commerce presence, one more option for promotion and sales during a critical shopping season.”
Chamber Market also offers a job market that allows businesses to seek out employees and gives people the opportunity to work at a local business through a unique partnership with Talinity, an online community that helps match employer and employee through referrals.
Note for producers/editors: B-roll and campaign materials can be downloaded here.
For more information, contact:
Jason Leslie, Communications Manager
Alberta Chambers of Commerce
780-425-4180, ext. 4
Seeking solutions to help the local retail sector navigate through significant challenges such as the global pandemic and rapid acceleration and ultra-competitiveness of online commerce, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce saw an urgent need to help businesses across the province promote their products and give consumers an easy way to purchase unique locally-made items from all parts of Alberta.
Alberta businesses continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Restrictions Exemption Program and as the past two years have shown, the potential for more health measures can’t be ruled out. Even after the pandemic has subsided it will be important for local businesses to promote Alberta-made alternatives and give consumers and easy way to source local vendors.
Albertans have tremendous pride in their province, its culture,quality artisans and entrepreneurial spirit and will buy local if it is easy for them to do so. Unlike other e-commerce sites, there is no membership fee for businesses to join. Businesses must only pay a nominal $25 registration fee to help support site maintenance and Chamber Market does the rest to support growth and entrepreneurship in Alberta. Other providers either don’t offer the comprehensive services of Chamber Market or charge a membership fee.
While the Alberta Chambers of Commerce can list dozens of benefits for businesses to have a membership at a local chamber of commerce, there is no requirement to belong to a local chamber to join Chamber Market. This initiative is all about supporting all Alberta businesses in a time of need and beyond.
The sky’s the limit for the number of products that will eventually be on Chamber Market, and we want consumers to find exactly what they are looking for on the site. That’s why the Alberta Chambers of Commerce is engaging in a digital and radio advertising campaign across the province to let businesses know of this exciting opportunity.
Purchasing local Alberta items can help the environment as some goods do not have to travel long distances by plane or other long-haul travel.This can reduce the carbon footprint through less fuel consumption and pollution. There is no need for shipping facilities, packing facilities or food refrigeration.
Chamber Market offers consumers an Alberta alternative for the purchase of unique products and services. Make no mistake, however the Alberta Chambers of Commerce will continue to advocate for the reduction of interprovincial trade barriers so we can increase competitiveness and facilitate the movement of goods throughout Canada. This is vital for local businesses in all provinces and will be key to economic recovery.
Ahead of Christmas, the demand for some items, like toys, are at an all-time high, yet major backlogs and shutdowns due to COVID-19 have affected sea, air and land shipping – particularly in Asia. Additionally, the mid-November flooding in the lower mainland made these challenges even more pronounced. The ability to shop locally has significant benefits as it relates to reliability as supply chain issues persist. However, Chamber Market fills along-term niche as Alberta businesses must gain a strong foothold in the ultra-competitive e-commerce market.
Chamber Market offers a job market that allows businesses to seek out employees and gives people the opportunity to work at a local business through a unique partnership with Talinity, an online community that helps match employer and employee through referrals. Additionally, each chamber of commerce that signs up for Chamber Market will have their own profile page on the site.
– the sky’s the limit for the number of products and businesses that will be on Chamber Market
1,244 – the number of products currently on ChamberMarket (offered by local pick-up or delivery, or province-wide shipping)
104 – the number of vendors on Chamber Market
75 – the percentage of people in a local survey who say they shop locally because of more unique product offerings
72 – the percentage of people in a local survey who say they shop locally to support the local economy
42 – the percentage of Alberta businesses that expected their profitability to decline over the following quarter in a 2021 second quarter Statistics Canada report
29 – the percentage of Alberta businesses that expected their sales to decline over the following quarter in a in a 2021 second quarter Statistics Canada report
25 – the nominal dollar fee businesses pay to get up and running on Chamber Market
16 – the percentage of people in a local survey who say they strongly agree that they make an effort to buy local products and produce, and an example of why Chamber Market is needed
14 – Communities currently represented on Chamber Market