SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Rising tech company LiveShopBuy held a South Plainfield Merchant Launch celebration on Tuesday, February 6th at NanKing Restaurant in South Plainfield. The event commemorated the partnership between South Plainfield and LiveShopBuy in creating an online directory of all small businesses. Once part of the directory, each business can post products on the LiveShopBuy marketplace, which is like Amazon but exclusively for the goods and services of small businesses.
“We’ve been looking to build an online directory of South Plainfield businesses for many years,” said Mayor Matthew Anesh. “It’s something that’s proven more difficult then we thought it was going to be, but we thought it was critical to build this momentum, where people really want to invest in the community in multiple ways. LiveShopBuy checked that one off very quickly for us.”
“We are a close-knit community and that’s why we need to make sure that we give every opportunity to our local businesses to compete on a level playing field and to adapt to the changes in the marketplace,” said Council President and Chair of Economic Development Derryck White. “LiveShopBuy does exactly that.”
The celebration included food and drinks as well as prizes. Business card drawings were held throughout the evening. Winners received LiveShopBuy polo shirts and shopping bags, wireless speakers and the Fit Bit Charge 2. Business owners had the opportunity to learn about what LiveShopBuy is and how having an online presence in the LiveShopBuy Directory with the ability to use the e-commerce enabled marketplace to sell products and post flyers or coupons can help them.
“Anything that brings and keeps people local is phenomenal,” said Sue Bannon, Direct Sales Representative for Color Streak. “The Amazons and the Googles and the Ebays of the World are taking over and it’s not a good thing in my mind. So anything that keeps people local and keeps small businesses open is an awesome idea.”
“LiveShopBuy is extremely easy to use and provides high tech capabilities to small business at a very low cost,” said Jack Pederson, Broker/Owner of Jack Pederson Realty. “Small business has always been the bread and butter of a community and the big box retailers are pushing hard on convenience. I don’t mind spending a little more to support a local business, however, it’s hard to pass up the convenience of one click shopping with the choice of ‘pickup in store’ or fast delivery. LiveShopBuy gives small businesses that capability and helps level the playing field.”
Throughout the evening, business owners registered their business on LiveShopBuy on computers set up for the Merchant Launch registration. They also had the opportunity to speak with the Founders of LiveShopBuy, who explained the concept of LiveShopBuy.
“When a shopper searches for products on LiveShopBuy, merchants in their local community come up first, regardless of the ratings and the reviews,” said Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman, Joseph Anselmo during his presentation to the audience. “You go to the larger e-commerce shops and marketplaces and you’re going to see the merchants with the largest reviews and ratings come up first. It’s impossible for a local merchant or service provider or anyone to come up on the first or second or even fifth page on Amazon, Ebay and some of the other larger marketplaces.”
Once registered on the LiveShopBuy Directory for the Basic Free Forever Plan, businesses will have the opportunity to post five products on the LiveShopBuy marketplace. Professionals, service-oriented businesses, restaurants, and retail stores can also post coupons, flyers, or downloadable ebooks and manuals on the marketplace. Businesses interested in posting more then five products with extensive customer support can opt for a paid membership for a monthly or yearly fee.
“The unique piece is that this is an opportunity not only for you to have customers patronize you online, but also an opportunity for you to drive them back into your brick and mortar stores for those ancillary purchases, which are the backbone of what you do,” added White speaking to the audience. “When we looked at this as a governing body and as a group of people in the Economic Development Committee, we realized that this was going to give you a fresh set of eyes and a fresh opportunity to compete.”
“When people ask me what makes a successful community, I tell them there are always three things - a stable tax base, great schools, and a library,” said Anesh. “Those are community organizations that bring people together. The businesses that we have here in town offset a lot of the taxes that we pay. Part of Economic Development and what we’re looking to do is make sure that we retain businesses, that we’re attracting business. LiveShopBuy gives businesses another tool, gives them that online experience, gives them a reason to be here and I think that benefits all of us.”
Several organizations also came to the Merchant Launch to learn about LiveShopBuy’s Community First Program, which was created to help fund existing community programs to alleviate poverty and also to teach people how to succeed in business. A percentage of the net revenue of purchases made through the LiveShopBuy marketplace goes back to the community of the shopper at no extra cost to the merchant.
“LiveShopBuy is an amazing way to promote your business and they make it so easy,” said Lesley Goncalves, Travel Agent and longtime resident of South Plainfield. “One of the things I like is that they give back to the community.”
“LiveShopBuy encompasses all that we want for our community,” added White. “It’s a business model that allows you to give back and it’s a business model that’s responsive to the needs of the marketplace.”
Registering with LiveShopBuy offers every business an online storefront with business information displayed, directory listing, mobile ready technology, seller locator, social media, buyer & seller communication, FAQ and knowledge base support, loyalty program activation, SEO/keywords and meta tags. Geo-Targeted Mobile Marketing Service can be added in the paid membership option.
“We are offering a Free Forever plan to all small businesses making this technology an affordable, profitable business opportunity,” said Anselmo.
Many businesses in the service industry, without tangible products to place on the marketplace plan to post coupons and flyers.
“In the dental aspect we’re not going to be selling handmade products, but what we are selling are services, so Invisalign is big, braces are big,” said Maria Bender of Bender and Todaro Family Dentistry. “What we can offer on this site are coupons and incentives for people to come to the dentist to check out these products that they’ve probably heard on TV, on the radio. LiveShopBuy is another way to bring patients in and makes it more of a holistic approach for us and our patients.”
“Everything we do is community based,” said Gregory Fulop, Realtor with Striker Realty. “Real estate is local and it’s not something you can transpose out of its existence, so whether we’re one town or another town, we could use the support of LiveShopBuy.”
“I think the LiveShopBuy marketplace is the future,” added Bender. “I have seen many local businesses get kicked out of their buildings even though they have been there for such a long time and they failed. We need to stick together and buy locally because these are the shops that are supporting the community as a whole. They’re the ones that are supporting the Little League teams, so if we lose them, we lose the community.”
“Small business is the fabric of the community, creating jobs and boosting the economy,” said Anselmo. “They are the character of the community bonding relationships with community residents. Small business and independent business owners keep the community healthy. Without them, creativity and innovation disappear, support for local events fade, taxes go up and communities eventually fall apart. I urge you all to support your local small business and community.”
South Plainfield has been making a push to shop local and keep small businesses in town. By building a cyber neighborhood with LiveShopBuy, city officials hope to keep South Plainfield up with the times.
“We live in an age, and like it or not, things are going not only online, but they’re going digital,” said Anesh as he addressed the audience of small business owners and community leaders. “Things that used to start on your computer and just the Internet have gone well beyond that now. You need the brick and mortar, but everybody is looking to shop online, so you gotta be there. It’s the wave of the future and it’s not going anywhere. We, as a governing body, cannot provide that for you, these guys can, so we’re excited and happy to work in partnership with LiveShopBuy.”
Several South Plainfield businesses are already a part of the directory and marketplace. Sport World and Twin City Pharmacy & Surgical have much of their inventory up on the LiveShopBuy marketplace displayed and available for online purchase.
"It surprises me how often local people will say they are not familiar with our Pharmacy on Park Ave after 47 years!” said Sandy Cassio, Co-Owner of Twin City Pharmacy. “LiveShopBuy will give us a local online presence from your computer screen or smartphone. This will help attract an entirely new generation of customers who are community minded with a technological edge. Combined with tech savvy assistance and an affordable price, this is a win win for South Plainfield and local businesses.”
“I would like to thank the City of South Plainfield, Mayor Anesh, Derryck White and the entire town council, it’s business organizations, merchants, and professional service providers for their unrivaled support in rolling out our Merchant Launch,” added Anselmo. “Through our e-commerce, and digital marketing platform we hope to level the playing field by giving small businesses a fighting chance to compete against Big Business.”
“You have the opportunity now, you have a system in place that’s already there, you have support, you have all these things at your disposal and you can try them out for free,” said While, concluding his address to the audience. “I don’t know that it gets really any better than that. As a governing body, we’re not getting any compensation for this. Our compensation is really seeing our businesses being able to compete at a different level and focus on the marketplace as it changes and as it evolves.”
South Plainfield officials are working to encourage all small businesses to sign up for the free online directory listing and set up their LiveShopBuy account so they can post products and services on the marketplace. Businesses can register by going to www.LiveShopBuy.com and clicking on Business Solutions.