With a new online store, the tourism ace focuses on the future

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By GREGORY ZELLER //

With a dual focus, Long Island’s official destination marketing organization has launched a new online store – both an effort to promote the region as a whole and connect its local businesses.

Discover Long Island’s new digital retail platform owes as much to COVID-19 as old sayings about multiple birds and singular stones. Multitasking is great, but more importantly, the pandemic has pushed online shoppers and put pressure on mom-and-pop operations in traditional brick-and-mortar environments – bad news for the tourism industry. Long Island and thousands of local retailers.

The new online store comes to the rescue by embracing the cultural shift towards virtual shopping, according to Kristen Reynolds, President and CEO of Discover Long Island, while inflating an emergency flotation device for drowning craft entrepreneurs in an empty sea.

“The pandemic has not only changed the way people buy, but the past two years have also changed why people buy,” Reynolds noted. “People buy with intention. “

Kristen Reynolds: State your intentions.

Among their main intentions, she added, was promoting much needed positivity – a real challenge at a time when feel good is a scarce commodity.

“[People] like to wear brands with which they have a positive association, ”said Reynolds. “The brand ambassador has proven to be crucial for the success of all businesses. “

This is a notion that the new Discover Long Island digital platform takes to heart. The Hauppauge-based tourist office has been offering branded retail for years – mostly through in-person events – but with global e-commerce revenues exceeding $ 26 trillion since the start of COVID – 19, he opened the doors of Shop.DiscoverLongIsland. com and guest in an eclectic collection of regional retailers.

It’s barely come one, come all – “We’ve put a lot of thought into our designs, quality, and collaborations,” noted Reynolds – but the breadth of creative retailers stocking the new platform overshadows anything Discover. Long Island has tried before.

Participating retailers include North Babylon’s Gage Sunglasses, which adorns the digital boutique with an exclusive release of shades with “BeLONG on Long Island” printed on the frames, and Hamptons Handpoured, of Montauk, which offers its line of shades. sea ​​salt., candles infused with honey and citron.

Other brands you are probably familiar with include Sayville-based beachwear company Island Strong and Port Washington-based consumer clothing maker Spectrum Design, a non-profit foundation employing people with the autism spectrum, also make the scene.

Highlight: Beachwear manufacturer Island Strong tries out the new Discover Long Island platform.

Gage Sunglasses owner Joseph Englemann called Discover Long Island “a leader in raising awareness of Long Island, all of its beauty and attractions,” and said collaborating on the new online store was “a given. “.

“I felt that our values ​​were perfectly aligned and that a partnership would go hand in hand,” Englemann said in a statement. “As a local Long Island business, we always try to promote our house within our message, our images and our overall branding. “

And that’s the rub with the new online store, according to Nikki Theissen, vice president of partner and visitor relations at Discover Long Island: to support individual brands and promote a broader message for the island. , all wrapped up in “an inspiring and transparent shopping experience.”

“We have already seen an increase in sales since the launch of this new online store,” added Theissen. “We believe that beautiful images, quality products, and the ability to showcase local, small and diverse businesses in our destination not only benefit our brand, but uplift the entire community. “


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