Nick Brackenbury is co-founder and CEO at NearSt. NearSt are on a mission to get all of us back into our high street shops. They believe finding and buying something from a real shop nearby should be faster and easier than ordering it online. They came out of a 9 month closed beta period in May 2016 and is growing quickly – 250 London shops in 6 categories and anticipate a 1000 by mid 2017. Active Customer base growing at 35% per month.
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About the business
- eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
- Product Range Scale – niche but becoming department store
- On a Bespoke platform
- Based in London, and currently only operating in London
Listen to hear how Nick got started in eCommerce
NearSt is a kind of click and collect with instant collection for retail. When a customer is shopping, they search for a product just like on any other eCommerce site, and NearSt will show products that match the search query. The difference comes when the customer goes to buy it. They’ll see where they can buy it in a shop nearby. NearSt also works with some delivery partners, so the customer can have the product delivered.
NearSt allows customers to browse all of the shops around them in one place. Currently, customers can browse a half dozen categories. NearSt started with books, because bookstores offer the unique challenge of often only offering one of each item. Then they added more categories, including DIY items, electronics, stationery, gift shops, health and beauty, and pharmacies.
Listen to learn more about the challenges they’ve faced over the first few months.
NearSt uses some traditional approaches to marketing, such as Google products, Facebook ads, Pinterest product ads, and especially organic social marketing. They take an iterative approach of constant testing. Nick recommends the book Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares to learn more.
Listen to learn why constant testing is so important, as well as social marketing.
Most Awesome Thing Right Now
The most awesome thing about NearSt for Nick is offering something that many people search for but don’t believe can exist. Google keeps saying that locally-focused searches are growing at 150% per year. Yet when people discover NearSt, they don’t believe at first that there’s one place to see all of the products they are looking for. It’s awesome to see that moment when people realize that it’s real, and they can shop on their high street in one place.
Listen to hear more about how….
On the Radar for 2017
In 2017, NearSt will be looking at predictive resale. People want more convenience in their shopping. By looking at hundreds of millions of data points of what and from where people are searching for products and buying them, NearSt can predict demand and have items already stocked by the time a customer searches for them.
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eCommerce Book Top Tip
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Organic social media marketing
You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…
Tool Top Tip
Start Up Top Tip
Be really clear about what your vision is, because it will drive everything you do.
There will be difficult decisions in your business, and having a clear vision will make those decisions easier to make.