Buying from nearby stores was easy until the Coronavirus came into our life. Now, when stepping out is risky but can’t skip the need to buy essentials at the same time, a hyperlocal marketplace is what one needs the most during the present time and here’s how you can develop one with features that will make it a success on its own.
eCommerce and Hyperlocal Marketplace: What’s the Difference?
There’s a lot of confusion between eCommerce and hyperlocal marketplace. An eCommerce business is very well known to all which deliver products within a few days of the order while hyperlocal is a business model that delivers within a few hours of the order placement. Note the difference.
A hyperlocal marketplace promotes local businesses, i.e. it refers to all businesses in your vicinity, the nearby general merchant, restaurant, market, mall and other products and service providers, thus the customer’s immediate demand is met with the nearest available supply in the most optimized manner.
Why go Hyperlocal?
The concept of hyperlocal is the next generation in transforming e-commerce for both sellers and customers because of the benefits it comes along with for all.
- While customers can enjoy faster delivery of purchased products, local sellers can gain the attention of them and thus enjoy good sales.
- The transactions that happen between are also trustworthy and easy since the seller and buyer are nearby.
- The supply chain of hyperlocal deliveries is short, simple, and direct. Sellers need not manage an elaborate inventory, schedule lengthy pickups, or heckle about the volumetric weight.
- The returns in the hyperlocal delivery model are faster as it is equivalent to daily transactions, unlike eCommerce which demands a more abundant supply chain and various checkpoints.
- The communication channel between the buyer and seller is direct and hassle-free. Since both are near to each other, the parties can handle everything from ordering, delivering, exchanging to returning.
Now, let’s focus on the features that are must to make a hyperlocal marketplace a successful business in today’s time.
Key Features of Hyperlocal Marketplace You Must Include:
- Auto-detection and apt calculation of the location
Geography plays a major role in the hyperlocal marketplace, therefore; your hyperlocal online multivendor marketplace software solution must be accurate in calculating the nearby distance as only then, will your customers be able to search the required product or services within their range and for you to serve them better. An ideal hyperlocal system must allow customers to enter their location and get the list of sellers or nearby products or services available to them.
- Two-way communication
If communication is clear and transparent, half of the problems get solved and in any business, communication with the customer is extremely important, henceforth; you got to have a chat feature that allows you and your customer to connect anytime whenever a problem arises in the process of delivering the goods and services to the customers.
Moreover, with an effective chat system, you can further convey to your customer regarding the regular updates about their placed orders, any delay in deliveries, new products or offers, out-of-stock items and much more which will save a lot of time and effort at both ends.
- Inventory management
A feature that informs about the inventory is a must in a hyperlocal marketplace as customers will be placing orders in order to get products at the very instant and at that time if they are not able to see the right stock of the product based on their location, it can irritate them. Also, ensure the inventory has real-time sync for customers to get the right information about your products or services at the right time.
- Shopper availability and delivery
Faster and same-day delivery of products is what all makes a hyperlocal marketplace different from eCommerce, hence; store owners must have the feature to set the delivery slot availability including the time and the date so as to inform customers about the delivery availability before placing the order. If you can also include a feature where the delivery person can set their available timing, then it will be more than helpful to assign the order to the right delivery person according to their availability.
- Checkout from various stores/vendors
Customers don’t like to wait and the whole reason for shopping from a hyperlocal marketplace is to get products/services as soon as possible, so if it happens that some stock is not available in the nearby store which the customer wants, there must be a feature that allows the users to place the order from a different place as well. It might be a different brand, store, or vendor.
The above are only the top 5 features that we have highlighted which are must-haves for any hyperlocal marketplace system, other than that, there is a long list of features for each – the store owner, vendor, customer altogether which can make a hyperlocal marketplace run smoothly and efficiently. Take a look.
Store admin/stakeholders’ features:
- Able to add multiple ship areas and zip codes.
- Set different types of filters for customers to filter products by distance, zip code, city, country, and state.
- Multiple online payment methods.
- Shipment scheduling.
- Social sharing options.
- Reviews and ratings for products and services
- Targeting specific zones for delivery using radius unit and range.
- Add shipping rates for targeted delivery in specific zones.
- Managing commissions, sales, and revenues.
- Able to enlist their multiple locations for targeted delivery.
- Display custom shipping rates for different locations.
- Receive real-time order notifications with the customer’s tracked current location.
- Individual seller profile and ratings.
- Ability to edit/delete the shipping location.
- Able to buy products from nearby and local sellers.
- Personalized search and shopping experience.
- Product filtration based on location.
- Support for different modes of online and offline payments.
- Facility to change already specified location.
- On-demand pickup or delivery.
- View or post reviews and ratings for both the products and sellers.
- Realtime order confirmation and delivery tracking.
- Validation at checkout
Although hyperlocal delivery is not at all a new model, it is definitely an up and coming sector for the eCommerce industry. The reason it has a lot of scope for growth in the coming years is also because of the recent shift in consumer mindset due to COVID-19 pandemic which is making customers shift online from offline. The need to get essential within a short period of time is increasing day-by-day due to the fear of global pandemic where a hyperlocal marketplace can serve the best.