How one small business is using ads to help boost trade after lockdown

As lockdown after lockdown dragged on, shopkeepers up and down the country feared for the survival of their businesses.

Julie Duff, 56, who’s run Liverpool gift shop Voglio for more than a decade, was one of thousands who saw her takings drop to zero after she shut up shop because of covid.

‘There were dark days and I thought “Are we going to survive this?”,’ she says. ‘We were closed for eight months out of 12, and I was very anxious.’

Just as non-essential shops were allowed to open last month, Julie heard about MailMetroMedia’s Ad Manager, which offers small businesses a chance to advertise to the huge audiences of MailOnline, Metro and iNews – at affordable prices.

Photograph by Peter Powell. Liverpool boutique owner Julie Duff used MailMetroMedia’s Ad Manager to help get her business back on track after months of lockdowns

The new Ad Manager means SMEs, who were hardest hit by Covid, can advertise on the UK’s biggest, most engaged newsbrands. It takes minutes to set up, and your campaign can be live in less than 24 hours. Julie chose to advertise on MailOnline

Julie said: ‘These ads were the perfect opportunity to help us get back out there and I’m so glad we did it – we’ve have lots more orders from new customers which can only have come from the ads.’

She liked the way she could choose who to advertise to, and found setting up the ads simple and fast. 

Julie added: ‘I feel like it got us off to a really good start after the pandemic. We’re now open six days a week, we’re busy, the website is busy, and everybody who comes into the shop is absolutely made up. 


Cost: £3999.97

Ad impressions (how many times the ads were viewed): 1,052,624

Results: Lots of new customers and shop and website busy

Julie says: ‘It got us off to a really good start after the pandemic.’

‘A lot of people are still a bit nervous about going into the city centre but they want to support independent boutiques like us and that’s all good.

‘I feel really optimistic about the future.’ 

To prepare for reopening her shop, Julie invested in an awning to keep customers dry while queueing outside the shop. 

She also reordered stock, had her stock room repainted, and cleaned and sanitised everything.

Julie, who also runs online shop the Liverpool Gift Company, said: ‘Things were going extremely well before lockdown – trade in the shop had been amazing and there were queues down the road. 

‘We were lucky we had the website, and we did adapt it for local click and collect, but we’ll never make up what we’ve lost: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day which is the biggest day of the year for us after Christmas, and Easter. 

‘Those events have gone.  But the next big thing is Father’s Day so we’re looking to the future.’ 

Photograph by Peter Powell. Looking to the future: Julie says she’s missed retail opportunities, but there are more ahead

With Ad Manager you can advertise to more people in your area than your local titles can reach. 

It’s cheaper than Facebook, and you can target by postcode, interests, and life stage to reach as many of our 25 million consumers as you like.

There are no hidden fees, and you can control everything, from budget to target audience to creative design. Here’s how you can advertise YOUR small business on MailOnline, Metro or iNews:

Visit manager.mailmetromedia.co.uk today to see how YOU can transform YOUR small business!

 Visit manager.mailmetromedia.co.uk today to see how YOU can transform YOUR small business! 

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