our CEO Purdeep Haire speaks at the IGD Convenience Summit 2015

IGD Convenience Summit 2015 - CEO Purdeep Haire

Our Director Purdeep Haire will be a guest speaker at the IGD Convenience Summit 2015 in London on June 3-4th.

Below is a transcript of a hosted Q&A session with IGD.

Purdeep Haire, Director, Cornershop Online

We are delighted to have Purdeep speaking at the Convenience Summit in June. Ahead of the event, we caught up with him to find out why he believes small independent stores have an opportunity to compete with the big retailers for online customers.


Can you sum up the concept of Cornershop Online for us in just 50 words?

Cornershop Online is collaboration between retailers and a software company to create a suite of products that allow independent convenience stores to compete on the digital high street. We believe all stores regardless of size should have a website that incorporates social media and displays their product catalogue.

How important is digital becoming for independent retailers?

Digital is an increasingly important area for businesses, represented by the increasing market share of online sales. Independent retailers in convenience are way behind the general market in adopting digital; the majority don't even operate a free to use Facebook page.

The majority of consumers now own a smartphone which is their primary source of information. If they want to find out about local stores (where they are, when they are open, what they sell or what their current promotions are) they will search in Google but since the majority of convenience stores have no presence online, these questions are left unanswered and potential customers are lost.

What are the barriers to independent retailers boosting their online presence?

The barriers are self-imposed; often retailers regard digital as a bonus or generally not vital. This means they are less willing to put in the time and effort required to maintain a strong online presence.

Cornershop Online aims to educate retailers to the importance of being online but at the same time provide retailers with solutions that make it easier and less time consuming to maintain this presence. For example the App allows symbol group retailers to send customers their latest catalogue of promotions at the push of a button - they can even opt in or opt out of individual promotions.

Do shoppers want to see their convenience retailers have more of an online presence?

Shoppers utilise convenience stores for "convenience". What could be more convenient than viewing your products available at your local store and placing and order for your evening meal via your phone for ‘click and collect’ on the way back from work?

Consumers want information quickly and are often only willing to spend only a short time looking for it. For this reason, convenience retailers should create an online presence for their store that provides all this basic information as well as listing promotions and news alerts.

What can an independent retailer offer online that a multiple retailer can’t?

Independent retailers can beat multiple retailers on convenience, speed and customer service. Multiples make millions of home deliveries a week whereas an independent retailer will make less than a hundred. This allows independent retailers to offer enhanced customer service and speed.

For example a supermarket will never be able to deliver an online order to your door for that evening’s dinner whereas a convenience store certainly could. There are a growing number of consumers that want to shop local and support their local communities and stores - there is no reason why this goodwill would not extend online.

What’s next for Cornershop Online?

We will continue to create products that allow independent stores to compete with the multiples. We plan to add m-commerce functionality to our "Cornershop Loyalty App" so that consumers can place and pay for orders on their smartphones. This will mean that a consumer could order and pay for ingredients for their evening meal and have it delivered promptly by their local store.

Due to the local nature of the transaction and that consumer and retailer would most likely know each other, product substitutions and delivery arrangements could always be more flexible than the fairly rigid offering from supermarkets.

Below is a link to the original article.

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