Buy local… on Amazon | LesAffaires.com

The store was launched without fanfare “this year”, confirms the American company by email. (Photo: 123RF)

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THE TECHNO DOOR ADVICE. It is now possible to buy Quebec products online. And it’s not through the Blue Basket – whose transactional component is still planned for the fall – but rather through the new Fleurdelysé store, accessible on the Amazon site.

This store was launched without fanfare “this year”, confirms the American company by email. It displays all products that meet one or other of the following criteria: the last substantial transformation took place in Quebec or at least 51% of the direct production or manufacturing costs were incurred in Quebec.

It was Simon Marcotte, vice-president of the group J’acheté québécois, j’achete local (JQJL), who put the flea in the ear of Deals after contacting Amazon’s technical department in June to find out if a tab filtering all Quebec products existed. Following a negative response, he came across Fleurdelysé in July. JQJL took advantage of this new store to create a fleurdelyse.ca site, which allows you to redirect to the store, whose hyperlink is not so easy to remember (https://www.amazon.ca/b?ie= UTF8&node=23914625011).

The group started promoting this new tool in their Facebook group, which has over 300,000 followers. “Competing with Amazon is a disproportionately large project,” says Simon Marcotte.

Thanks to the announcement of the Blue Basket

Without taking anything away from other Quebec initiatives like the Blue Basket, he believes that working with the Californian company is a better idea to achieve their goal. “It’s a great project,” he says. It helped encourage local buying.” He nevertheless believes that the provincial government could have looked at what was already being done elsewhere in Quebec.

“When the announcement of the Blue Basket was made, we were the first to talk about it on our Facebook group, recalls Nicolas Beaudry, president of JQJL. Because it was directly in line with our mission, which is to do something to support local businesses.”

The history of this famous Facebook group which today attracts 180,000 daily visits and of which 65 to 70% of the members consult it every two days — according to the data provided by JQJL — is precisely closely linked to that of the Blue Basket.

At the time of its founding by Nicolas Beaudry in 2018, in response to NAFTA negotiations where softwood lumber and milk “were at risk”, the goal was to educate people to “watch the label”.

“Little train goes far, so we grew, notes the latter. But when the announcement of the Blue Basket was made, it was a huge boost.

In fact, overnight, the group saw tens of thousands of new members appear every day. “It didn’t stop, it rose by 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 people a day,” recalls the president.

The strength of community

At the same time, JQJL was working on a transactional site which went live around the same time as the government announcement. The goal was to allow young companies without a website to sell their products easily.

At the same time, the group has set up a membership card system on the Facebook group, for people wishing to promote their products.

The money generated, whether by the transactional site or by membership cards, is all reinvested in advertising. The artisans of JQJL, “a dozen” according to Nicolas Baudry, are all volunteers.

The strength of this movement resides according to Nicolas Beaudry and Simon Marcotte in the community, an asset that other transactional platforms do not have. “The group has helped a lot of companies to make themselves known,” assures Simon Marcotte.

And to help entrepreneurs even more, JQJL has started producing short capsules, the first of which, entitled “Take the time!”, was put online in mid-August.

“Companies may put their products on Amazon, eBay or the Blue Basket, but there is no guarantee that you will make more sales, he continues. People don’t search for your products. For that, they need to know you exist.”

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