Shop Local Says Aberdeen Business Owner as Business Goes Viral Thanks to Local Support

An Aberdeen businessman has got behind the Government’s new campaign urging people to shop local. The campaign launched by Scotland’s Towns Partnership in association with the Scottish Government urges Scots to shop locally to help fuel the economic recovery.

It comes as Scotland moves into phase three of its route map out of lockdown this month, with badly hit sectors like hospitality, tourism and retail allowed to fully re-open.

Marko Steiger of www.palmsafe.co.uk, an Aberdeen based hand sanitiser manufacturer says it is thanks to people shopping locally that his new business is thriving. The company has been affected by Facebook’s blanket ban on the advertising of Covid-19 related products and has instead reverted to traditional local marketing to spread the word about its locally produced sanitisers.

Marko said: “In a little over 3 months, we have won more than 1000 customers from right here in Aberdeen and, even more importantly, we are receiving tremendous feedback and customer referrals. We are truly grateful for people choosing to shop local. We hope to take on our first employees next month and expand the business quickly. We, in turn, are sourcing as many of our materials locally as we can. Just this week we have signed a contract with Aberdeen company Smith and Wilson for the production of all our bottle labels”.

Scented hand gel

The company has produced a range of premium quality hand sanitisers available in 7 different scents and various sized bottles. There sanitisers contain aloe vera and are made from isopropyl alcohol instead of the ethanol alcohol found in most shop bought sanitisers. Whilst isopropyl is the more expensive option, the decision was made to use it in all of Palm Safe’s hand sanitisers as it is far gentler on the skin. 

This decision to focus on quality is validated by the hundreds of online reviews that Palm Safe has gathered from happy customers - many of whom say it is the best sanitiser they have ever used.

Marko also spoke of his frustration at Facebook and other social media outlets banning the promotion of Covid-19 related products. The ban was initially brought in to stop unscrupulous businesses engaging in price gouging and to mitigate the risk of consumer misinformation due to misleading advertising claims. However, it has also had a negative impact on new business promoting legitimate products.

Marko said: “Facebook won’t allow us to purchase paid advertising for any of our hand gel products. Meanwhile, Ebay and Amazon are only permitting existing customers to advertise, and Instagram has even threatened to delete our account for posting pictures of our sanitisers. It is very frustrating as a new business selling online that none of the usual marketing channels are open to us. I feel these networks need to take more of a common-sense approach rather than operating a blanket ban. They are holding us back at a time when small businesses need all the help they can get.”

However, with its growing base of local and loyal customers, Palm Safe is overcoming these initial hurdles and garnering an online following of repeat customers who - having tried Palm Safe’s sanitisers - are loath to go anywhere else. “We are just so grateful to the local people of Aberdeen for the support they have shown us” said Marko. “We have been running regularly competitions via our Facebook page and also offering free local delivery and samples to local businesses who want to see for themselves the quality difference of our sanitisers. This is our way of saying thank you to the people of Aberdeen who have helped make Palm Safe such a success”.

Palm Safe’s website can be found here https://www.palmsafe.co.uk the company has just launched a new range of 60ml Hand Sanitiser clip bottles.