Cohaesus launches micro e-commerce platform in Margate

A new online store branded ‘Local Gems’ will be trialled in Margate on the 18th and 19th October through which residents of the seaside town will be able to purchase local produce and have it delivered to their door.

Conceived, designed, developed and launched by Cohaesus, a digital commerce consultancy and developer, the online marketplace is being trialled in Margate and the surrounding area, aiming to sell fresh produce from local producers only. Depending on the results, the Local Gems platform may be rolled out to support other high streets. 

Matt Meckes, chief technology officer at Cohaesus, stated: “With so much talk about the likes of Amazon destroying the local high street, we really wanted to challenge ourselves to see how we could use digital disruption as a force for good.”

A headless approach to ecommerce separates the transactional commerce functionality from the customer experience. This allows a seamless customer experience, whether buying directly from the Local Gems website, through social platforms like Instagram or Facebook, or through an online marketplace. Whilst it is becoming accepted as the best way to deliver ecommerce experiences, many brands are put off for fear that a headless commerce platform will be slow and expensive to develop compared to an off the shelf platform such as Shopify or Magento.

“We have built this in just 29 days from research and strategy, through to UX, implementation and execution. This is no mean feat and demonstrates that despite the doubters, by blending SaaS solutions and a tried and tested reference architecture ‘headless commerce’ can be delivered in a fast, efficient way,” added Meckes.

The Cohaesus’ team immersed themselves in the Margate locality getting to understand what local artisan goods were available for sale from local retailers. While trends indicate an increasing demand for unique, artisan products made in a sustainable way, consumers have become accustomed to receiving everything at the click of a button, leaving local artisan retailers trailing behind.

Inspired by the market research, ‘Local Gems’ will be selling a selection of different boxes of locally sourced products, from pasta boxes to breakfast boxes.

During its first week, Cohaesus will be collaborating with ‘Jamface Jams’, a producer of homemade chilli jam which is popular with the crowd that are swapping London Fields in Hackney for the beaches of Margate. The target audiences for Jamface are people who are happy spending £5 on jam knowing that it is locally produced and is a high-quality product.

“This project also demonstrate how digital disruption can be used as a force for good. Our team has really enjoyed seeing how we can use technology to help local artisans in rural coastal towns (like Margate) survive the troubling times by making it easier for commuters to support their local high street outside of normal high street shopping hours,” concluded Meckes.