Nishi Patel, an award-winning independent convenience store retailer who owns Londis Bexley Park, is seeing an increase in footfall and a rise in niche products sales since partnering with retail technology platform NearSt.
Patel said the number of people viewing his Google business listing has doubled since joining the NearSt platform. “Since joining NearSt I have had a surge in phone calls for products that I am stocking in store. From the first day of going live, I saw an increase in footfall and a rise in queries for niche and special-offer products,” he commented.
NearSt is a new technology that displays retailers live in-store inventory in online platforms like Google and Facebook. It does this all automatically via a clever, simple integration with a store’s stock keeping system.
As a third-generation retailer who owns a 1,800sqft Londis store in London, Nishi Patel came across NearSt while looking for innovative ways to grow his business and increase his store’s visibility on Google. Since working with them over the last 18 months, his Dartford store has expanded its local customer base, boosted its online presence, and increased in-store sales.
Using NearSt’s technology as an effortless way to connect his in-store inventory to Google and Facebook, the integration is allowing Patel to focus on other areas of his business.
“By connecting a live inventory of my store product list to the web, NearSt is increasing my store sales by getting my products in front of my local customers searching on Google,” he said.
The simple set up made it an extremely easy decision for Patel to choose NearSt.
“By installing a small piece of powerful software, I can upload my products instantly in as little as two clicks. Shortly afterwards customers using Google will see my entire store stock list appear in local search results, sending nearby shoppers to my store who might have otherwise ordered online or gone to a competitor.” Nishi Patel saw immediate results, especially across some of his more niche lines. So much so that he has added new lines for Christmas that he thinks will work well on NearSt.
“An example of this is the American candy and cereal lines I stock, and I am looking forward to seeing how my Christmas lines perform. I think NearSt is a massive seasonal win.”
When summing up his experience of working with NearSt, Patel added: “I like everything about NearSt; from the live updates of my product files to the support I receive. The information I get from the traffic going through Google is next to nothing – you cannot get this anywhere else. I thought only big stores would have the ability to do that with their product files, so it is great for a little store like ours to have it. Working with NearSt allows me to focus on the profitability in my store and I would urge any retailer looking to boost footfall and sales to speak to NearSt.”
NearSt’s technology is a very clever way for local retailers to compete with supermarkets and promote their products, promotions and stock through ‘near me’ searches on Google.
Nick Brackenbury, NearSt’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working with Nishi. The technology has been developed to make products from stores like Nishi’s visible to shoppers searching online nearby. The platform is a remarkably straightforward way for convenience retailers to establish a presence on Google, with automatic updates every 15 minutes directly from their EPOS system.
“The technology has seen widespread uptake by retailers across the UK as a powerful tool to fight back against the might of large pureplay online retailers.
“For convenience retailers who really care about maximising sales, NearSt helps them and their products become more visible online which leads to a boost in sales.”
In addition to listing a store’s products on Google, NearSt also provides detailed insights to the retailer about what is popular with customers searching nearby.
Working with thousands of stores globally and across the UK, NearSt integrates with hundreds of EPOS systems including EDGEPoS, ITS, WRS, TLM, EPOSNow, RDP (ShopMate) and is adding more each week. The company says its technology is now compatible with almost three quarters of all UK stores.
Summing up why the technology has seen such rapid adoption, Brackenbury said: “NearSt helps redirect shoppers to local convenience and forecourt sites looking to increase their footfall. Google’s algorithm does the hard work of matching local shoppers with stores stocking the products they are looking for. With shoppers today looking for both value and convenience, helping them choose your local store online is more important than ever, and we are pleased to be working with so many British convenience stores to ensure they are capturing these local shoppers.”
Retailers looking to join NearSt can do so via their website – www.near.st, where the company is currently offering a 30-day free trial for independent convenience stores. Onboarding is handled by their Customer Success team, and convenience stores can expect to go live in around two weeks.