Street Fight’s recently published white paper “The Local Merchant” put a spotlight on the motivations of small and medium-sized business owners — and the hyperlocal companies that are marketing to them. The 48-page examination of this $38 billion customer base was underwritten in part by Delivery.com. Here, Delivery.com CEO Jed Kleckner offers a first-hand look at his company’s experience interfacing with local merchants.
What are some of the key considerations when approaching merchants who are less technologically savvy than others?
When we approach merchants, we want to understand their goals and determine how they measure success, regardless of whether they are tech savvy or not. The key is to have a technologically advanced product that does not require a technologically advanced user but can help achieve those goals. For merchants who are less comfortable with technology, we may need to explain in more detail how our service works, but the benefits are simple for any business owner to understand. For our service specifically, the added value is easier to grasp compared to other forms of online marketing, like social media or daily deals, which means we can approach merchants of all technology levels.
What are their main business concerns and how do those align with hyperlocal marketing?
The average business we work with is interested in establishing a stronger voice in their local market and reaching a larger audience using online channels. Traditional marketing channels often only generate temporary results, so merchants are also looking for new channels with long-lasting effects. Hyperlocal marketing allows merchants to reach their exact target market while eliminating unnecessary spend.
How have merchants’ experiences with Groupon and others set the tone and their expectations around hyperlocal marketing?
Groupon and like sites definitely achieve the goal of allowing merchants to reach a highly-targeted market on a large scale. The question is whether or not there is sustainability for merchants with a model that relies so heavily on massive one-time discounts. Merchants in our network who have worked with daily deal sites have been challenged by the economic model inherent in the offerings, but when we explain the structure of our model, they realize there are alternative ways to approach online hyperlocal marketing beyond daily deals that prove beneficial to them over the long term.
How are new hyperlocal platforms transforming business at the local level?
Hyperlocal platforms enable local businesses to compete not only with national chains, but also with competitors that they don’t necessarily see in their neighborhoods, namely online brands and platforms. Some hyperlocal platforms even allow merchants to push discounted inventory to increase sales during ordinarily slow sales times, which is a great yield management tool for merchants.
For more information and to purchase “The Local Merchant” click here.