SanomaVentures invests in the Dutch company Locals United. Locals United offers local brick & mortar stores a platform that enables easy online sales, by providing them their own webshop environment and accommodating for matters such as product photography, payments and logistics. Locals United also offers support for online promotion.
In return for a monthly membership subscription, physical stores add three plug & play sales channels to their operations: a web shop under their own domain name, a shop on their Facebook page and their own shop-in-shop at LocalsUnited.nl. Starting and running an online sales channel has never been more convenient, as product photography, payments, online promotion, online inventory management and logistics are all handled by Locals United.
Taking care of everything
Locals United continuously adds new features to its platform. Among the platform’s latest features are local store recommendations and a feature known as “shop local”, which provides consumers a real-time view in the inventory of local shops. To help boost offline sales in the actual store space, Locals United also offers an innovative interactive touch screen kiosk with which customers can browse through the store’s entire collection of brands - and order products which are out of stock.
Neil Persoon, founder of Locals United, comments: “Sanoma is a strategic partner and the value of the partnership widely exceeds the financial investment. The combination of a major player’s online expertise and wide marketing scope ensures we can grow Locals United faster, in the Netherlands and abroad.”
Clicks & Bricks
Herman Kienhuis, investment director at SanomaVentures, adds: “Online and offline shopping converge. Locals United developed and marketed a successful model that bridges the gap between online and offline. We will be contributing our experience in e-commerce, which includes among others Kieskeurig.nl and in the fashion sector FashionChick.com, to help Locals United improve its services and accelerate its growth.”