Local Businesses Set to Challenge Amazon, Adding £4bn to High St Sales


Retail tech start-up NearSt, which makes finding items in local shops easier than buying on Amazon, has today expanded its offering to consumer electronics, DIY goods, health & beauty products, sportswear, stationery, toys and gift shop services.

The astronomical growth in ‘near me’ searches (over 146% year-on-year) means NearSt are now best placed to revitalise local shops on UK high streets, who can add over £4bn in sales by connecting the items they sell to the smartphones of people searching for them nearby.

NearSt is already collecting five million inventory updates from its retailers every day for nearby shoppers to browse. Shops show live inventory through the NearSt website and app where people can order and pay for one-hour delivery via bike courier or instant collection in-store.

Brick-and-mortar shops up and down UK high streets have suffered in recent years from the rise of online marketplaces, something NearSt aims to change by bringing business back to their door step. With the growth of on-demand shopping, “research online-purchase offline” behaviour, and local ‘near me’ searches, NearSt believes now is the perfect time for shops to take the fight back to the likes of Amazon.

NearSt’s technology, called NearLive, enables any shop to set-up and start selling real-time inventory to shoppers through www.near.st, app, and directly in Google Search in less than 10 minutes. Shoppers simply search for something they want, see where it’s in stock nearby, and in a few taps order it for one-hour delivery or instant collection.

Nick Brackenbury, chief executive at NearSt commented: “The way we shop is changing. Customers expect everything to be ‘on-demand’. Where they want it, when they want it and available in just a couple taps of their smartphone. High street shops are perfectly suited to capitalise on this new way of shopping, if they can put their inventory in front of this new mobile shopper. If they fail to do this, they risk slipping into irrelevance and ultimately out of business.”

“Their challenge is serving this new shopper with their existing tools, which today is incredibly difficult and expensive. Our ground-breaking technology is enabling shops to access these new mobile shoppers, exclusively using all of the existing systems and processes already in-store. Shops can get up and running in as little as 10 minutes on NearSt, without any need for new technology or hardware. If shops can get their inventory onto the smartphones of shoppers nearby, we see every reason to be optimistic about the central role of high streets in the future of how we all shop” added Nick Brackenbury.