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Do Hyper-Localized Ecommerce Stores Make Sense?

Do Hyper-Localized Ecommerce Stores Make Sense?

Ecommerce professionals are always looking for the next big thing to shake up the online shopping world. Many are now saying hyper-local ecommerce will soon have a huge effect on how people purchase goods. This paradigm shift could provide massive opportunities for people who are early to develop a customer base. So, do hyper-localized ecommerce stores make sense? Well, it depends on your market and your execution.

What Is Hyperlocal Ecommerce?

There are really two main things people might mean when referring to hyperlocal ecommerce. The simplest form of hyperlocal ecommerce is where stores in a given geographical market do it specifically, as opposed to casting a wide net—either nationally or internationally. This doesn’t mean hyperlocal ecommerce businesses won’t sell to people in different states or countries. It just implies they are primarily interested in a smaller region.


There are also companies that serve as a sort of hyperlocal middleman between retailers and consumers. These businesses can deliver products from local stores faster than it can be done through larger companies, and more efficiently than by the retailer itself. This is the other form of business people might be referring to when they mention hyperlocal ecommerce. For this article, we will focus on the first type, as this is a more attainable goal for most individuals.


Can Develop Strong Niche

One of the most important rules of ecommerce is you have to develop a niche if you don’t want to get lost in the noise. Hyperlocal ecommerce is the perfect way for business owners to accomplish this. Campus apparel stores are one type of business that could potentially benefit from hyperlocal ecommerce. After all, their strongest customer base is people who are near the campus itself. This means store owners would have a great feel for the wants of their audience—allowing them to offer superior products compared to outsiders. To make this easier to do, seek enterprise ecommerce solutions providing comprehensive analytic tools. This will enable you to hone in on exactly what items are best for your market.


Less Competition

Another plus to hyperlocal ecommerce is you won’t need to worry as much about competition. A well-run hyperlocal business is going to provide a superior product to people who live near it, versus a company hundreds or thousands of miles away. It’s possible there will be multiple hyperlocal ecommerce operations selling similar goods in one small geographic area, such as a city or metropolitan area. But if the market is large enough, there should be plenty of room for multiple businesses to sell similar products. When this is the case, it’s important to build personal relationships with your customers. This can come in the form of hand-written receipts and thank you notes inside packages—or even giving customers special offers to other local retailers or restaurants. Creating a hyperlocal ecommerce network with other businesses can actually be beneficial to everyone, as you can all refer consumers to each other.


Lower Shipping Costs

When your customer base lives near you, it costs a lot less to ship them things. Long-distance shipping, especially for large items, is still pretty expensive. Someone is going to have to pay for it—either you or your customers. But no one wants to foot the bill. Local shipping costs are much more reasonable. Plus, it will likely only take a day or two for your clients to receive their package. This can be a winning scenario for everyone.


Hyperlocal ecommerce is going to play a major role in the future landscape of retail. Seriously consider the benefits if your business might be able to take advantage of this trend.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.