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I have a confession to make – I did all of my Christmas shopping at the following 4 places: Amazon, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Toys ‘R’ Us.

It was very last minute, and I had the typical, “I have no time to shop” excuse. Thanks to Amazon Prime, I was able to get free shipping in time for Christmas, just 3 days in advance. And what I couldn’t find online – well, thankfully these stores are just so massive that I was able to find “something” suitable for my dear friends and family. I had been planning on this New Year’s resolution for a while, so it pained me that I was failing so miserably when perhaps it mattered the most. Technicalities of it not being January yet aside.

I joined ShopKeep late in the summer with the thought that I had no extensive expertise in the payments or SMB industries. Which, as a marketer, was true. But as a consumer? While I was considering the role here, I went to my local coffee shop, O Cafe on 12th and 6th, and saw they were using ShopKeep. I’d been there maybe not hundreds but dozens of times before and never even noticed it was an iPad they were using to ring up sales.

Given O Cafe is around the corner from me and they happen to have amazing coffee and fresh pão de queijo, why am I not more of a regular? You can thank my Starbucks app for that. I’ve been using it for about a year, and it makes it so easy for me to leave my office or apartment with just my phone to get my caffeine fix. Great for when I’m coming back from a run without my purse or wallet – or even credit card for that matter.

The ads for these major retailers practically write themselves. They’ve certainly addressed some particular customer needs – busy lives, need for convenience, endless selection to inspire ideas. But do I really want to make purchasing decisions based on that fact that I’m lazy, thoughtless and have poor time management skills?

Some people will tell you to shop local because it supports the community and puts more money back into the local economy. These are true things. But it’s also a romantic ideal that faces an uphill battle when it comes to changing habits. I’m going to shop local because I think it will make me a better person and because I believe I’ll spend my money more wisely and more thoughtfully. And I want to prove to the major retailers that I am better than what they think of me.

I’ll tell you right now: it’s not going to be easy. I’ll get lazy or forgetful and need to get something last minute and you know that Duane Reade will just be right friggin’ there. But I’ll try really, really hard. Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you all about it.

By Amanda Chin, VP of Marketing, ShopKeep

Amanda is the VP of Marketing at ShopKeep and a resident of New York City. She hails from many generations of independent business owners and believes shopping local adds character.

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