During the first six months of lockdown we have seen that consumers have turned more and more to home deliveries. The main supermarkets have been unable to meet the consumer demand as deliveries have to be booked weeks in advance. The supermarkets are unable to offer a next day delivery.
In answer to this a lot of local retail businesses have seen an opportunity to try and fill this gap by offering to do home deliveries to lo local areas using their own cars/vans. In a lot of instances this has not been incremental business but orders from their own customers who are self isolating. The issues for the local retailers are that they have to take orders over the phone; write things down manually which creates scope for mistakes. They have to capture their customers details over and over so are repeating a process that could be made easier and efficient. They then have to find ways to package their delivery which usually results in a tatty box being used. And finally they have to find the time or an extra resource to deliver the goods to a number of households which may just be in a tight area close to that retailer.
In the local area are a lot of independent artisan type retailers who can offer only part of what consumers need on a weekly basis. But together taking all the local retailers you could produce a basket of most of the things that people need. By using the local retailers not only can you do that but you can also buy fresh; quality; and different products to those that you buy week in and week out from your big supermarkets. People are fed up of the same old – same old things. To give them an alternative at a competitive price for quality locally sourced goods enhances the shopping experience.
Also during this pandemic people have accepted home deliveries to be more the norm so will be more open to paying that little bit more for quality locally sourced products.
We have also identified that our local council is under obligation to get their emissions down to ?? by 2030. Their issues are that the local city centre is served by numerous couriers delivering into the city early on a morning and picking up later in the day. The number of vans and lorries delivering each day creates so much congestion and the emissions are very high.
Shoppers in York will be limited as to where they can take their cars in the future and will be looking for alternative ways to shop.
We have identified that shoppers don’t want to trail around York with their shopping; and that alone distracts them from using the city centre restaurants and bars as they tend to shop lightly and make a beeline for transport.
If you look at the demographics of the people in York our local city it is made up of 90% UK citizens. There are approximately 84,000 households and a population of over 205,000.
Retail wise we are looking to get out and talk to our local shops and people who produce goods to sell and to give them a portal to showcase their goods. We know how hard retailers are finding it competing with ‘the online giants’, but these companies are faceless and are not interested in their local communities. BUT…we are and it is because we are that we have come up with the idea to help our small local retailers.
Our offering will give all retailers the chance to test the market. To see if by adding their products to our online marketplace they can increase their turnover; increase their customer base and to reduce the time and effort it takes them to look after home deliveries.
For the retailers, we will make sure that the front end part of the process ie taking orders will be done online and will be accurate. We will be able to provide each retailer with a daily request to fulfil from the orders they receive. It will be accurate and will take away time spent on the phone.
We will give them one drop off point so that they are not wasting time and money travelling around the area. We will be able to give them a picture of what their customers are buying and it will help with stock management. We will be able to help with stock holding if they want to increase what they hold by providing warehouse space.
We will provide professional packaging and a next day service seven days a week.
Our retailers will have an opportunity to expand at a reasonable cost without having to increase premise size; employ more staff or use their own transport.
Retailers will be able to choose what margins they make on the products sold on the Corner Connect site and will be able to change prices when they need to.
Customer wise we are looking to give them an opportunity to purchase goods once; twice or as many times a week and to be able to have a next day delivery. They can order from several shops and know that they will receive one delivery for everything they have ordered all for one delivery cost each time they do.
Customers will be able to choose what they want to buy whether it be at the cheaper end of the market or at the dearer end. Customers will have a choice. Customers will be able to set up an account and have their orders repeated every week or month and won’t have to worry that they have forgotten to order things.
For those customers without their own transport not only does the Corner Connect solution aid this, but it means that they can shop around the district supporting their local retailers
We would expect that customers will receive special offers now and again. By being loyal and supporting their local retailers there will be a gesture back from the retailers.
Local charities may also benefit from people who wish to support their local charities from donations at the Corner Connect checkout.
Eventually, we envisage a Corner Connect membership/loyalty club which will benefit the whole family…