Driving past the downtown market today, it's clear that community-based, face-to-face sales are alive and well. But when I talk to the farmers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs selling their wares from simply festooned stalls, handing out samples of their latest creations, I see all of them are accepting some form of digital payment.
Shopify, Square, PayPal, Apple Pay and others are making human transactions possible, while keeping digital experiences a core feature of any sale. It's remarkable, and truly inspiring to see part-timers and octogenarians wielding pocket technology that not only keeps them and their contributions relevant, but helps them thrive.
These little markets have and will forever be a touchstone for commerce all over the world. Not just locally, though. The marketers, themselves, are now selling in multiple online channels, as well. The most progressive among them have diversified offerings across online marketplaces, direct sales, leaving the bulk of their sales effort to web ads and Facebook.
This new commerce may have formed out of need — probably that, and opportunity. But, it seems to have started from a place of hopefulness. Sellers who have confidence in their products and themselves absolutely should sell wherever they can.