ByDarren Windsor Image Retail Solutions Ltd Director
That’s a very good question, and opinions strongly differ, but one thing we can probably all agree on is that change is upon us right now, and things won’t be back to normal for a long time yet.
Social distancing is already becoming the new norm and retail has had to change, even if only for the short to medium term. So how are businesses adapting to the new challenges they face?
As a retail solutions provider to the small, independent sector we deal quite actively with small rural businesses. There’s certainly a lot of uncertainty about and a lot of questions being asked, but as always, technology offers a multitude of options. And the recent pandemic isn’t the only reason why retailers should be looking at the way they do business.
A lot of people we speak to don’t appreciate what opportunities there are out there for increasing revenue and routes to market. Perhaps surprisingly (at least to us as a technology provider), a lot of people we speak to still don’t even have a website that they can do business through. The most cited reason why not is cost, second to that is complexity – where do you start?
And I can understand why – when your interest is in growing or selling produce, you won’t necessarily be an expert in ecommerce, nor have the time or patience for it. One of the issues many people have with IT and technology is the pace with which it moves; even having an interest in the industry it can be hard to keep up with it all! And that’s where we come in.
Faced with the recent lockdown we’ve been contacted by a deluge of retailers and hospitality businesses needing help to adapt to the changing landscape, and the new ways we all need to do business. Not just those that can’t trade, and who are looking at ways to re-open, but often those that can, who have seen unprecedented demand for their goods and who just want to do things better – who want to cope with the influx of delivery orders, for example. Some of these have seen their delivery orders skyrocket but just can’t cope because they’re still taking orders by phone or facebook message.
This is where our new Deliverappy smartphone app comes in, as just one example of how we’re helping the sector to adapt.
Registering as a retailer lets you sell your goods and produce through the app with the minimal of effort – just add your products, snap a picture and set your prices. Customers find your store on the app, order and pay – you receive the order, pick pack and deliver! And it’s not just deliveries – you can also use the app for click & collect too (or instead) and those that operate an onsite café or eatery might be pleased to know that the app also supports table orders. For those wanting to dip their toe in ecommerce but without the expense, Deliverappy is a cost effective way to do just that, with registration from only £95+VAT (compare that to the cost of a website!) and no monthly charges. It’s simpler to operate than a website and you do it all from your smartphone. There’s not even a need to have a PC in the store if you don’t have one (nor broadband, so long as you have a mobile signal). It’s paperless too, so a truly “green” solution.
An increasing number of consumers are now preferring to buy through smartphone apps, and apps encourage loyalty more so than a website based shopping cart. And it’s not just millennials – it’s a common misconception that the aging population don’t like their tech, with almost 70% of over 75s owing a smartphone according to a 2013 ONS survey (we expect the figure to be even higher than this now). For those wanting a bespoke experience for their patrons, Deliverappy is also available as a “white labelled” product – and this is something that is exciting the community more than the Deliverappy app itself. With our white label solution your business can have its very own app in the app store, under your own name and branding, exclusively for you. And the way we’ve done this makes it extremely cost effective for small businesses.
Deliverappy is all about supporting and promoting local businesses who work so hard to serve their local communities, and as a platform we want to do what we can to help support this sector that is so often-times forgotten. Certainly as a platform we’ve got big plans to work with rural associations and charities to help the sector adapt to what is now a changing world.