Bridgeburg Furniture uses social media advertising to get customers in-store
After two decades working on the sales side of the furniture industry, Kiran Katta decided it was time to start something of her own. So in the Fall of 2022, she opened Bridgeburg Furniture in Fort Erie, converting the building she and her husband had bought a year earlier into her vision for what a furniture store should be.
“After being in the industry for so long, you kind of know what you want it to be like,” says Katta. “I was never on the ordering side of it or the back end of it so it takes a little while to learn those things (but) I took one step at a time.”
The first-time entrepreneur says, even now, less than a year into the business, she’s still taking baby steps. But it goes well with the pace of Fort Erie where main street business owners thrive on face-to-face interactions with their customers.
“People want to come and talk to you and see what kind of person you are… half the business is selling yourself and then the product, right?”
Naturally, Katta has cultivated a certain aesthetic working in the industry for so long. She also leans on her intuition to know what’s going to sell.
All the time spent at home during the pandemic sparked a lot of interest in decorating and reworking living spaces, something Katta continues to capitalize on.
“A lot of people bought new houses or moved,” says the Bridgeburg Furniture owner. “Especially this area, Niagara, it’s just booming – everybody from Toronto and up north is coming down here.”
However, in addition to an influx of potential customers, those customers have different habits than before the pandemic. People have gotten used to shopping online. So to capture that interest and convert it into in-store sales, Katta has had to invest in her online presence.
“I’m pretty savvy but I’d say I’m not up to the mark… I don’t know everything about computers,” she says.
But around the time she was opening the business, Katta connected with her local Digital Main Street ambassadors. The program combines grants and one-to-one support from the Province of Ontario alongside partners to help main street businesses strengthen their online capabilities and plan for the digital future. Katta received a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant and training to elevate her digital savvy.
“I used most of the grant to buy a camera so I can take pictures (of product) and then I also used it to advertise on Facebook and stuff like that,” says Katta.
She points out that high-quality photos and social media advertising help drive foot traffic. Through the Digital Main Street training, she got a better idea of what would work well and how she could catch the attention of potential customers. However, Katta recognizes that the sale happens when the customers walk through the door.
“With furniture, everybody wants to touch and feel it and try it out and sit on it and stuff.”
It’s still early days but Katta says she has plans of expanding and growing her inventory. She says the grant helped her explore new aspects of the business.
“It would've taken a little bit of time to get there (so) the grant helped.”
If you're looking for great service and quality furniture visit Bridgeburg Furniture.
To learn more about the Digital Transformation Grant, and how it can help your business visit here.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.