Getting customers from the Internet back into local shops is a retailers dream. There is a problem though, one which many (including Google) are grappling with and that’s how to find and display local inventory to potential buyers.
Chloë Thomas over at Ecommerce Masterplan has just interviewed one company who believes they have the answer – Near.St aims to show customers products which they can click and collect at a local store, or if they really don’t want to go out can still be delivered in the traditional ecommerce manner.
Near St started with books but are adding more categories, including DIY items, electronics, stationery, gift shops, health and beauty, and pharmacies. Currently 250 London shops in 6 categories list on Near St and they anticipate a 1000 shops by mid 2017. Their active Customer base growing at 35% per month.
Near St is an interesting proposition, but has a long way to go before it’s of interest to online retailers. However for local shops in London there’s little to lose and, so long as you can upload your inventory easily (and apparently NearSt has been built to take just 5 minutes of your time each week to keep updated with their NearLive platform) there’s little to lose.
Find out more by listening to the Ecommerce Masterplan podcast: