Hyperlocal: The Talisman for Small and Medium Retailers

The growth trajectory of Indian eCommerce has been phenomenal in recent years. It developed by more than 600%, reaching the whopping $16 billion mark in 2014, from $2.5 billion in 2009. As eCommerce firms started flooding the retail landscape of the country, the small and medium physical retailers suffered the most. This change from physical retail to online retail benefited the consumers but many of them still continued to harbor a tinge of uncertainty for this new way of shopping. This is where a new race of disruptors came in to the picture and thus, began the advent of hyperlocal players. Connecting the local retailers with consumers, these technology-backed firms have metamorphosed the face of virtual commerce by helping the brick and mortar stores to gain visibility and boost business. These are now turning out as game-changers in the online retail space of the country.

Bridging the gap between the consumers and physical retailers,act as intermediaries that connect the two poles seamlessly. Helping customers buy anything and everything from the neighborhood retail stores, the hyperlocal firms ensure quick delivery and higher credibility.

The new concept is tremendously beneficial to both consumers and traditional retailers. By getting listed on such hyperlocal platforms, local stores like mobile shops, grocery outlets, vegetable stores etc., get the opportunity to launch themselves online and present their products to the potential customers residing in their vicinity. This elevates their brand visibility and trustworthiness in the market, helping them enlarge their customer base. Besides this, the hyperlocal platform also assists them in interacting directly with their patrons, thus assuring them of timely payments within 24 hours. Another benefit that physical retailers get by launching on hyperlocal platforms, is the ability to upsell and cross-sell their products to customers. This is possible because of the fact that these stores are located in the neighborhood which makes it likely that consumers might visit them once in a while. Also, physical merchants can clock huge profits and increase their brand salience in the market through the hyperlocal eCommerce firms.

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The concept is also advantageous in decreasing the shipping and logistics costs significantly, the cost-benefit of which can be passed on to the retailers as well as customers. This makes hyperlocal shopping and retailing a win-win phenomenon for both parties.

The hyperlocal portals create a favorable atmosphere for small and medium physical retailers to flourish and blossom in the online space. The increasing popularity of this concept is attracting significant investments from venture capitalists. It is helping to build opportunities for more hyperlocal firms to come up and provide their platforms to local retailers for the convenience of consumers.

In a scenario where online firms have started dominating the market, it has become difficult for the physical retailers to maintain their foothold. With hyperlocal eCommerce firms making inroads into the marketplace, the local retailers have got something to bank on and compete with the online retail giants. Backed by huge investments, the hyperlocal is generating ripples in the Indian retail landscape of the country. This is remodeling the entire unorganized conventional retail ecosystem.

Offering consumers the compelling comfort and convenience of shopping online from the nearby retail stores, without having to face the vagaries of going to the shops every now and then, is one of the most crucial aspects of hyperlocal eCommerce. By providing humongous growth prospects to the local retailers, hyperlocal eCommerce is heralding a new era wherein everything would be hyper-localized. Instant gratification and reduced prices will give consumers the satisfaction of shopping and will erase all their inhibitions related to quality or delivery of the products. With hyperlocal becoming the buzzword in the retail space of the country, the downward trend that the physical retail outlets have been going through is now taking a U-turn. Hyperlocal is on its way to become the proverbial ‘Next Big Thing’ in the online retail sector of the country.

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