The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) has announced a partnership with retail technology company NearSt in a bid to get more people through the doors of specialist cycle shops.
Consumers are increasingly moving their shopping habits online, with one recent survey predicting up to 53% of retail sales will take place online within the next 10 years. Frequent internet sales and discounts are becoming increasingly more common, in fact e-commerce grew by a third in November last year as a result of Black Friday deals and discounts online. The ACT, however, believes that NearSt can lead the way in driving online shoppers back to bricks and mortar retailers.
NearSt’s mission centres around making shopping from physical shops easier and faster than buying online. Its platform drives in-store footfall by automatically connecting the products currently hidden on shop shelves to Google’s local inventory search through a simple integration with a business’ POS system. This enables customers to quickly and easily find what they are looking for in-store and in turn helps to support businesses in curtailing the flow of sales to online retail giants.
According to NearSt’s report, High Street Futures, produced in conjunction with The Future Laboratory, Real-Time Local Inventory (RTLI) could drive up to £9 billion in sales back into the UK’s 200,000 high street shops.
The ACT has launched this digital solution to the cycle industry and wider retail sector in an attempt to benefit IBDs. It is hoped that NearSt’s technology will improve connectivity between bike shops and their communities and boost in-store footfall.
With an instant setup, bike shops can get their stock online in less than 10 minutes, with their inventories displayed directly in Google search without the need for data to be entered manually.
The technology also allows retailers to identify which products are the most popular with local shoppers searching near the store. Google partnered with NearSt in 2018, allowing shoppers to search live in-store inventories directly through the search function.
The ACT is offering members an exclusive setup discount, which is usually £299, with no ongoing costs, as well as a free NearSt PLUS trial worth £100 which runs targeted local inventory ads to shoppers searching nearby at the top of Google.
Near St was recently named Hottest Retail Tech Start-up of 2019 at The Europa Awards, and In-Store Technology of the Year at the 2019 Retail Systems Awards, while Wired Magazine suggested this technology is “How the high street can take on Amazon…and win.”
NearSt is the latest addition to the ACT’s portfolio of products and services available to ACT members, such as Ride it away retail finance and Cytech.