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One of the challenging segments in e-commerce is hyperlocal. There has always been a market for delivering products at home for many years even before current technology exists. From milk and paper in the morning to any groceries in vehicles and even in some towns and villages dresses will be carried in cycle and sales used to happen.

Any hyper-local eCommerce requires a strong delivery network locally. The local delivery network is what is going to define the hyperlocal market, and the keyword “near me” is going to be the future when searching for any product/services.

What is Hyperlocal E-Commerce? 

Hyperlocal businesses focus on geographically nearby consumers for fulfilling their on-demand needs through web/mobile or any online platform including social media. The seller or store who plans to connect in hyper-local e-commerce should have the option to display their products/services and have the inventory details updated with the detailed serviceable location details and a full-fledged order processing system. The business model can be classified into the following:

  • Inventory based
  • Aggregator
  • Market place
  • Hybrid

Group of Local Delivery Ecosystem

Big players will initiate the hyper-local delivery business model, but eventually, in a few years, a local group of people form a delivery group and will support the stores for the delivery and stores will get their services for delivering the product. It is going to be an eco-system empowered by technology.

Route

The one who predicts the best route of delivery daily door to door is going to win the services. The best optimal solution on routing with a technology-related delivery algorithm and proper monitoring about deliveries is going to help in a big way, cost savings can happen and every delivery executive can earn a better wage. However, each area will be ruled by both major e-Commerce companies and a few entrepreneurs (sometimes who learn from existing players) and start their services in local areas. These local groups will soon be tech experts to decide on customized software that works better for them, rather than one solution that connects all areas. There is going to be a demand from many local players on specific features for all hardships they face.

Quality & Convenience

Quality is going to be one of the parameters that is going to help the hyperlocal marketplace to stay relevant in business and increase sales/profit. Demand is going to be more on quality than cost. Delivering a quality product at a fast speed will be the future, and only hyperlocal businesses can do this. The convenience provided by hyperlocal businesses is still the best of any business model.

Real-Time Visibility 

Traditional logistics practices are not encouraged by new-age customers. Now everyone wants transparency and real-time visibility in logistics. Digital transformation in delivery changed the entire business and improved customer experience and also minimized any risk.

Branding and Reward Program

Businesses should use various social media in increasing the visibility of their products/services. Build authentic, local connections and engage with your neighborhood customer in multiple ways. Set your relationship with the client and build your brand. Creating brand loyalty at the local level improves your competitive advantage over others. It will be a must for local sellers to include the rewards platform in the future so that they can increase customer engagement.

Customers Will Be Priority

The consumer will be the top priority as you build trust with them, and they become your top priority. Word of mouth marketing is the key to growth. Everyone involved in the process should know the priority and importance of the same. With technology and proper dashboard metrics, a strong efficient consumer-focused brand can be created locally.

Hyperlocal Businesses 

The various types of industries that can be successful in hyperlocal will be:

  • Grocery
  • Food businesses like restaurants, cake shop/bakeries.
  • Medical products
  • Home services
  • Business to Business delivery is also going to be soon in this area for hyper-local marketplace

Artificial Intelligence 

In a couple of years with Meta, VR, and other advancements in technologies, we may just order a product from home by using virtual shopping with an advanced AI-enabled system, which can predict, customize and show products based on various factors. Adoption of AI-based technologies can increase visibility, sales, and revenue.

If an individual store owner needs to compete and fulfill some of his offerings in a very short time, then soon they need to adapt to ‘delivery bots/ drones’. A lot of research is happening in this area and soon, we can expect the 10 min grocery delivery by a few can be fulfilled by local sellers as well using the bots or drones.

Guest contributor Sivakumar Anirudhan, CEO of VS Online Services Pvt Ltd. Any opinions expressed in this article are strictly that of the author.

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