A fast-growing shopping app which was originally set up to get people back into independent book shops has now opened its scope to London-based bike stores.
Dubbed NearSt, the app shows shoppers real-time stock of nearby independents, offering a streamlined order process in which the customer can reserve for collection or 1-hour delivery.
In time for Christmas, the ecommerce specialist have announced that they are opening up the app’s scope to sport and leisure businesses in the Capital.
Those linking with the app aren’t required to add new hardware or software to their current systems. The infrastructure instead works with existing legacy inventory systems in place, meaning costs can be kept low. In fact, bike shops are set to be charged just a small admin fee on sales completed via the site.
The technology uses primarily basic barcode and price information from a store to deliver to mobiles deep product listings, which also appear on Google.
With ecommerce an increasingly mobile affair, independents are encouraged to move with the flow of customers, with Google analysis saying all is not lost to online giants. In 2015, customers searched for product in local businesses more than ever – a 146% growth in searches along the lines of “where can i buy” products in nearby retailers.
Google too is beginning to back the independent. A recent algorithm update places more emphasis on nearby businesses.
What’s more, NearSt’s founders are riders themselves. In creating the business, founders Max Krejin and Nick Brackenbury cycled some 250 miles across to speak with local stores.