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How do local brick-and-mortar businesses compete in the age of Google and Amazon and when consumers are one click away from purchasing nearly anything?
Offering a unique product is one way, a panel of local business owners mentioned frequently during a Times Review Talks discussion at The Vineyards at Aquebogue last Wednesday.
Good old-fashioned customer service was another frequent suggestion.
The discussion centered on “Keeping It Local in the Digital Age.”
The panel of speakers featured Rena Wilhelm, owner of The Weathered Barn in Greenport; Stephan Mazzella, co-owner of Mint, a clothing boutique in Mattituck; Beth Hanlon of Allstate insurance in Riverhead and Wading River; Paul Romanelli, owner of Suffolk Security Systems in Southold; Nancy Messer, a vice president of BNB Bank in Bridgehampton; and Yvonne Lieblein, a marketing specialist and general manager at Port of Egypt marina in Southold.