E-commerce makes things hard for brick-and-mortar retailers. To improve the customer churn rate, various local commerce approaches have been developed to connect brick-and-mortar businesses to the internet and vice versa. The concepts range from “digital store windows“ via apps all the way to online marketplaces. All of these solutions pursue one common goal: they want to encourage customers to increasingly shop locally without the need to pass up the usual convenience of the internet as an information resource.
Despite the obvious advantages of online ordering, customers are now returning to local retail shopping again. Personal consulting and service, trying on items and examining products in more detail are once again becoming popular. Something Google has been promoting for years in SEO is finally taking hold: the so-called ROPO effect (research online, purchase offline). A majority of purchase decisions are made online and implemented offline. Now smaller local retailers are also taking advantage of this effect. According to a study by the ECC Köln (E-Commerce Service in Cologne) and eBay (1st Quarter of 2016), approximately 80 percent of surveyed retailers believe local online marketplaces offer great opportunities to be present online without operating their own online store.
That’s why we chose five local commerce projects and took a closer look: