What is it that you have observed about customer purchase behaviour amid the coronavirus lockdown?
People are shifting their focus from discount-based purchase decisions to convenience-based options, regardless of the prices being a bit higher.
Whether one likes to know it or not, but according to a report by Retailers Association of India, traditional stores have seen a dip of about 25% starting from February.
With social distancing in place, more and more people are shifting towards hyperlocal ecommerce stores whether it is for grocery or FMCG supplies, medicines or home services. And even after the lockdown is lifted this trend is likely to continue.
Customers are going to shop the hyperlocal way
Experts predict that within the ecommerce realm, hyperlocal businesses will see a surge and remain in great demand in the near future.
Now here’s why! Suppose you are a localite wanting to purchase routine medicines from the comfort of your home. You will most likely make an online search for a store and type your location. A lot of hyperlocal ecommerce stores will appear in your search results claiming to deliver your medicines within 24 hours or less.
Purchasing your essentials from a local store virtually makes more sense than buying it from any random online store. The latter might either take a few days to deliver or might not be easy to locate and connect within your geolocation.
In general, customers find hyperlocal ecommerce stores more convenient, more convincing and more reliable. With their products getting delivered within a short time from within the city limits, they are assured of getting in touch with the support centre for exchange or returns.
A window of opportunity for vendors
The growing demand for online shopping is providing fresh opportunities to local vendors. By listing their products on multi-vendor ecommerce stores, they can continue their business with ease even in this crisis.
Saying so, let’s look at some of the perks of a hyperlocal ecosystem for both vendors and customers.
Hyperlocal ecommerce stores - the hottest trend for future
1. New touch-point for vendor sales
But the situation of lockdown has encouraged more players to explore this model by listing their products online. Brick-and-mortar store owners can choose to become a seller on a location-based multi-vendor ecommerce portal and get a new touch-point for sales. This way, sellers can continue their physical sales while fulfilling the needs of online orders.
Hyperlocal ecosystem provides an opportunity for big and small shopkeepers to market their products/ services, increase brand awareness and earn a good profit.
The lockdown may or may not be there tomorrow, but social distancing will be a part of our lives for long. In this scenario, online multi-vendor shops have provided brick-and-mortars with a new channel to reach out to customers, with minimal face-to-face interaction.
2. More traffic and more sale
Are you aware that a better price is the leading reason why people prefer multi-seller stores? Also, 31% of first-time shoppers prefer to buy from a Multi-vendor ecommerce store.
With that being said, a multi-seller online portal is more effective in driving traffic than a retail storefront. Thanks to the long list of different vendors on board!
In a way, this is also like a chicken-egg scenario. It’s confusing to nail down whether more and quality vendors attract more customers or is it because of the customers that vendors attract on hyperlocal ecommerce stores.
But whatever it is, increased traffic due to a variety of products delivered in less than 24 hours at customers’ door-steps is what makes this business the number one on the trending list.
3. Vendor freedom
Think of a scenario where a small shop owner decides to open an online store. In this case, he or she needs to manage the entire business - right from procuring product and stock-keeping to marketing and deliveries. Single-handedly, all these processes can be a little overwhelming.
Against this, if this shopkeeper chooses to become a vendor on a hyperlocal ecommerce store, he or she only needs to take care of the products and shipments. All other business aspects such as marketing, store management, etc. are to be taken care of by the owner.
Multi-vendor ecommerce business provides vendors with an opportunity to take charge of their own business through their respective product pages. At the backend, vendors can manage and look-see everything from individual vendor dashboards. They can keep an account of their products, their profit earned and their sales.
4. Multiple stores to boost profit
How nice it would be if you could set-up small stores in different locations of your city to cater to the local requirements of your customers. Well, this is where multi-store ecommerce helps you ace the hyperlocal game.
The advantage of geolocation-based stores is that you can create multiple online stores managed by a central admin. This helps in having a central inventory where you can have the master data of all your vendor partners. What’s more, you can attract more customers by creating location-based sub-stores.
These hyperlocal ecommerce sub-stores can have different design theme, language, pricing, discounts, shipping charges, promotional discounts, payment methods, etc. based on the convenience and demands of your customers.
Doesn’t this sound like the easiest way to create a niche for your brand and become a local bestseller? What’s more, this also gives you a better insight into your business and helps you strategize your marketing for maximum ROI.
5. Local convenience
What’s hyperlocal? Well, in simple words it is a business model that serves customers locally. This means, most of your customers will be located within the same city where your brand is. Your vendors will also be from nearby stores. In a way, it is much more like a virtual local market.
With such a kind of business ecosystem, there is an added factor of convenience attached. Since orders can get automatically routed to the nearest vendors on your multi-vendor ecommerce store, customers also have an option of door-step delivery or in-store pick up.
It also assures customers that they can contact vendors easily in case of returns or other queries.
6. Hassle-free shipping
For a hyperlocal ecommerce store logistics certainly does matter. But unlike other businesses where products or supplies are shipped to far away locations, even across various cities or countries - shipping within this ecosystem is simple.
A vendor needs to tie-up with a reliable carrier, schedule pickups of products and ensure that deliveries happen on time as promised. However, with hyperlocal businesses one could expect lower issues related to shipping. Needless to say less shipping costs due to local deliveries.
As the owner of the store, you can look forward to automating your shipping processes to further speed up the delivery process. You can employ delivery boys and manage them or integrate a custom shipping provider.
Build your multi-vendor ecommerce store with StoreHippo
So are you ready to catch this latest trend and kickstart your hyperlocal business? Then you will need one of the best ecommerce platforms to build your website, manage your vendors and market your products.
StoreHippo ecommerce platform has powered various retail businesses towards growth. Equipped with end-to-end features for building, managing and running your store, our platform empowers your business with;
- Customer winning product pages, rich in theme, design and display
- Robust CMS to create engaging and convincing content
- Mobile-first technology to optimise your mobile site
- Progressive web apps and Android and iOS apps without additional coding or cost
- Third party integrations with payment companies, email service providers and delivery partners
- Multi-store features for your hyperlocal ecommerce store to enable retailers to create sub-stores
- Targeted marketing to reach out to very specific audience group
With its hi-tech features, StoreHippo ensures that your business gets the right boost in the right direction. Learn more about these functionalities with a 14-day free trial and uncover the great potential this online platform has for your business. To get started, drop us a line below!