A new strategic partnership announced today between nettl.com and Epos Now is about to transform the click and collect opportunities for independent retailers throughout the UK.
If 2014 was the year for mobile optimisation, 2015 is the year for click and collect. No longer the preserve of high street giants, click and collect looks set to revolutionise the independent retail market as the fastest growing EPOS company in the UK, Epos Now, enters a strategic partnership with new high street web design studio nettl.com (part of Grafenia).
Lowering the barrier to entry, the new partnership makes the move to click and collect suddenly a viable and cost-efficient option for smaller and medium sized retailers.
Until now, smaller businesses have struggled to compete with larger retailers due to the lack of a single solutions provider which can manage the process from web shop to order transaction, through to delivery or pick up.
Over the past 12 months, nettl.com and web transactions expert, Epos Now – which has 10,000 customers in the UK and Ireland – have been collaborating to bring this new integrated concept to market. The result is “Nettl: click & collect”, a package which has been specifically tailored for independent retailers on the high street and online, enabling these smaller businesses to compete with the big brand names they sit alongside, both physically on the high street and, more crucially, online.
Peter Gunning, chief technical officer at nettl.com, said “Click and collect is poised for explosive growth in 2015 so it’s essential that independent businesses embrace this concept and include it as part of their long term business planning.
“Shoppers are increasingly time-poor; they want to check an item is in stock before they leave home, and they expect to be able to reserve it online so they know they will not have a wasted trip.It’s often perceived as too complicated to implement, especially by smaller retailers, but with Nettl :click&collect we have developed a straightforward approach which enables Epos Now customers to compete with larger retailers, and launch their next shop as an online webshop.
“Independent retailers looking to take the next step only need to look to the likes of leading brands in the field such as John Lewis, who reported a 62% increase in click and collect orders in December last year. There’s also mounting evidence from online firms such as eBay that British shoppers are adding more to their online basket and making an average of three additional trips to retailers to collect packages bought through the click and collect services. A convincing argument that the investment in the facility is well worth it, whatever your business size.”
Jacyn Heavens, CEO of Epos Now, said: “We recognised the need for an integrated click and collect solution over a year ago but a national web studio with the capabilities to assist our plans didn’t exist until nettl.com launched late last year. It was only then that our objectives and vision to open up click and collect technologies to SMEs were united, and after a year of fine-tuning what is a complex, multi-channel system, we are confident that we have something that no-one else is currently offering at a price that is right for this market.”
Peter Gunning, from nettl.com, said: “If you’re a small or medium sized business in the retail or hospitality sector, make 2015 the year you unite your bricks and mortar business with your online business and meet the challenge head-on.”
Gunning’s tips for smaller businesses selling online include:
- Don’t aim for the ‘moon on a spoon’. It’s easy to get carried away with possible bells and whistles you could have. If you want to build a version of Amazon.com, you need Amazon’s budget.
- Focus on getting live. Better to launch your web shop and improve later, than wait until everything’s absolutely perfect. Your stock doesn’t sell while it’s still in the stockroom.
- Be willing to compromise. With software development, everything’s possible… at a cost. A ready-made solution is often good enough, but at a fraction of the cost of something exactly as you want it.
- Partner with the right people. Asking the kid next door might save you cash at the start, but what happens when he goes backpacking and your shop stops working?
- Start small. Launch your site with just a few products, train your team, handhold the first orders and then add new categories as you gain confidence.