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Early success for Manx online shopping

The new online shopping directory designed to help Isle of Man retailers and consumers is proving a hit with shoppers.

In the first three weeks since its launch, nearly 3,500 visitors have logged onto shopiom.com

Figures suggest most have been as a direct result of promotional work. A special promotion team has been handing out leaflets every Saturday in different parts of the Island and figures show the number of hits increased immediately afterwards.

Site visitors peaked after an outside broadcast by Manx Radio on September 19.

Radio Café’ was broadcast from Strand Street, Douglas, with members of the public being given gifts and the chance to enter a competition to win prizes including vouchers from En Fin, the Bridal House, Pomegranate, Fairtrade and Jewellery and Ramsey Art Gallery.

In addition, online promotion has resulted in visitors clicking through from other websites.

Trade and Industry Minister David Cretney said: ‘The purpose of the site is to support independent Manx retailers by giving them an opportunity to get online, to give local consumers the best choice locally and so maximise the benefits enjoyed locally by keeping revenues, jobs and taxes on the Island. Therefore, I am delighted it has got off to such a good start.

‘Our job now is to ensure people get into the habit of visiting the site and supporting the local independent retailers who are on it. We have a lot of ideas for attracting people to the site, not only Manx residents but also people overseas who want to use the site to buy gifts for friends and relatives living here. As we get into the crucial pre-Christmas period, we think that will be an extremely useful service.’

The majority of visitors to shopiom.com have been from the Isle of Man but others were from the UK, the USA, Germany, Ireland, Jersey, France, Canada and Brazil.

So far, more than 40 retailers have joined the shopping website, which enables shoppers to browse by category or geographical location and to click through to shop websites.

Businesses are able to set up their own website via shopiom.com, providing the online shopper with everything from simple information on store location to a secure online payment system.

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