Shop local

Twin Falls, ID, merchant Kindsey Ringenberg writes a thank-you card after processing an online order recently. Image: Times-News.

As online shopping grows in popularity, buying local from afar is getting easier.

Small-town merchants who once relied solely on Main Street foot traffic are creating sites to sell their products and services to residents and out-of-towners alike.

One example: Kindsey Ringenberg, who has gone online to grow her clothing shop, the Brass Monkey, in downtown Twin Falls, ID.

“These days, online is convenient. Not everybody is a tactile shopper,” Ringenberg told the Times-News. “Online is the biggest-growing market in retail.”

A recent study by software company SurePayroll found 26 percent of small businesses have online shopping sites or use them to conduct sales.

The number is expected to grow, however, as more consumers go online to make purchases.

USPS recently introduced an advertising campaign to highlight its ability to meet small businesses’ shipping needs.

One of Ringenberg’s fellow merchants, Liyah Babayan, started an online shop in 2009.

“I think we were kind of ahead of the curve (in Twin Falls),” she said.