Scots are being encouraged to support local businesses in their area this Christmas as hundreds close their doors as part of new Tier 4 restrictions in place across the country.

Today marks the end of the first weekend in which shops in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and parts of Ayrshire and Lothian pulled down the shutters as they entered into the country's toughest level of restrictions.

Images show a bare Buchanan Street on the first day of restrictions, a stark change from the bustling scenes just one day prior.

HeraldScotland:

The measures have seen all but essential retail close, as well as close contact services and leisure facilities, shutting down for the next few weeks.

Retail experts say this period should give local businesses the opportunity to head online for their vending, and take advantage at some of the shopping tools available.

READ MORE: In full: The shops and other businesses able to stay open in Level 4

“New lockdown measures will undoubtedly hinder Christmas shopping in Glasgow, but local retailers have shown resilience the first time around and I anticipate they will continue to do the same," Edinburgh based e-commerce and retail expert, Nathan Thompson, said. "Kerbside and shop entrance pickups will become more prominent, and expect to see independent retailers take advantage of more localised delivery services such as Gophr’s fulfilment options rather than using large courier services.

"We’ve already seen the march to e-commerce services happen almost overnight, and I would expect to see savvy Glasgow retailers take advantage of local markers online such as Google Posts, Maps and denoting delivery and kerbside collection on their Google Business profile in order to take advantage of latent demand from customers who are unable to browse in store.”

Some communities have taken to setting up their own 'virtual Christmas market', with local businesses advertising their goods on platforms including Facebook to entice customers to shop on the - virtual - high street.

In Glasgow, Scotland's biggest guitar retailer, guitarguitar, closed their doors for the second time this year, and say the next few weeks will certainly be a challenge.

"Our stores are the lifeblood of the business normally, so it’s not ideal to have to close them, but we are lucky in that we have a strong online presence and we’re going to be able to put more of our efforts and more of our team into that again," the store's head of operations, Bobby Simpson, told The Herald.

Like many stores, Christmas proves the retailer's busiest time of the year - but with people remaining at home to combat the spread of the virus, it seems more and more people are turning to instruments.

READ MORE: Martin Lewis has issued a warning to people that have already started Christmas shopping

"What we’re seeing is that there is a lot of demand out there for instruments – people are keen to reengage with their musical instrument that they used to have," Bobby explained.

"Christmas is our absolute busiest time of every year normally. It’ll present a bit of a challenge for us. 

"But we’re still there providing great gear and great service online."

Is your community setting up an online Christmas market this year? How is your business coping with Tier 4 restrictions? Send your story to eleanor.duffy@newsquest.co.uk