This is Part 4 in our series of posts tracking how the pandemic is changing the way shoppers find products locally. Each month the NearLIVE platform captures over 3 billion local data points covering almost every retail vertical, which reveals a rapidly evolving set of shopping habits. See the other posts in the series at

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we all shop. In this post we outline how shopper behaviours moving online shouldn’t be equated with buying online. …

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We’re excited to announce a brand new partnership with Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to get people back into Mayfair & Belgravia’s incredible mix of high street shops.

Grosvenor are rolling out our industry-leading local inventory technology to their West End tenants, enabling them to automatically show live in-store product availability to shoppers searching nearby in Google.

This is a brilliant illustration of how landlords, tenants and tech companies can work together to deliver a brilliant customer experience that truly makes it easier to find something nearby than order it online.

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Fashion retailer NRBY’s products appearing in Local Search Results

Participating retailers will see their products promoted to customers searching in Google nearby, helping drive more customers back into iconic retail destinations such as Mount Street, North Audley Street and Elizabeth Street. …

As COVID-19 has reshaped so many aspects of our lives, we’ve been publishing a series of articles on how shopper behaviours have changed and what this means for retailers, based on more than 2 billion data points captured each month through the NearLIVE platform.

This piece follows April 7th and May 5th articles and explores shopper trends now retail has reopened with social-distancing measures still in place.

Shoppers are forming new habits

The shift to buying more online during lockdown has been well documented, however we’ve seen shoppers doing more of everything online. …

On April 7th we published an article about the 235% traffic growth to our shop pages between February and March, as social-distancing measures began to impact retailers. We wanted to share how things have evolved since then, and what it means for shopkeepers looking to tap into new shopper behaviours.

Shopper demand for certainty has continued growing at pace

The demand for certainty from shoppers — knowing that the items they want are definitely in stock before visiting a store — has continued to rise at an incredible pace throughout April.

Shopper visits to our shop pages are now up 620% compared to pre-Coronavirus levels in February.

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Traffic to shop pages from Feb 4th to Apr 27th 2020

The majority of the 620% increase occurred in the 6 weeks after social-distancing was introduced in March 16th. This is a phenomenal change in shopping habits in such a short period of time. …

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”Once the UK lockdown is lifted, high street retailers are going to need to work hard to reach consumers and this solution offers a helping hand”

NearSt have been named as one of the global top 50 tech startups that power the new world of retail, and as a Judges’ Top Pick in Retail Week and World Retail Congress’ Discovery 50 report.

What the judges said:

NearSt is making it as easy to shop locally as it is online and enabling smaller retailers, lacking the scope and budgets of larger brands, to compete. Once the UK lockdown is lifted, high street retailers are going to need to work hard to reach consumers and this solution offers a helping hand.

The expert panel included retail consultant Ian Shepherd, retail analyst Natalie Berg, former Morrisons CTO Anna Barsby, Co:Cubed chief executive Jeremy Basset, Retail Week head of insight Lisa Byfield-Green and more. …

Over the past few weeks retail has gone through a massive change, as shops and their customers adapt to life under lockdown. While Google’s aggregated location data shows a 46% decline in footfall to UK grocers and pharmacies, people still want to shop in their local stores. But they are having to find new ways to do it.

Against this backdrop we noticed a fascinating trend in our own data.

Traffic to Shop Pages rose 235% in March

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Visitors to Shop Pages in March, compared to February

We’re thrilled to announce that from today shops using Vend can take advantage of NearSt’s footfall-boosting technology to drive more online shoppers in-store.

The partnership means that both current and new Vend clients can increase footfall by automatically getting their products online and in-front of thousands of shoppers searching nearby in Google, in just a few clicks.

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Who are Vend

Vend is a cloud-based ePOS system that specialises in serving small to medium-sized retailers, and counts over 26,000 shops across 140 countries as customers.

They serve all kinds of shops, spanning (take a breath) fashion, homeware, sports & outdoors, health & beauty, bike shops, electronics, shoes, fitness & supplements, toys & hobbies, jewellery, and pets! …

Tl;drAs NearSt has grown we’ve shut down some old features in order to double down on a whole host of new ones that are getting many more people back into high street shops.

In 2015 we started NearSt with a very simple mission — to get people back into high street shops.

Over the past few months you may have noticed many of NearSt’s features that contribute to this mission slowly disappearing. …

Originally published on on June 27, 2018.

Today the world is awash with stories about the struggle in retail.

How a perfect storm of price pressures from online, same day delivery, decreased footfall and increased rents are making doing business on the high street near impossible. I think we are on the cusp of a revolution though. One where the pendulum hurtles back towards high street retailers. Here’s why, and what I think this vibrant future will look like.

In the latest edition of his book, Smart Retail, Richard Hammond talks about a simple but highly compelling concept of “Friction vs Reward”. …


Nick Brackenbury

Entrepreneur and co-founder of NearSt. Part-time geek and part-time adventurer. Pro at breaking things and getting lost.

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