London retail technology start-up NearSt has partnered with Google to give the high street a boost by making it easier for UK shoppers to discover what their local stores have in stock.
After finding it difficult to find out what nearby shops had in stock, NearSt founders Max Kreijn and Nick Brackenbury developed a technology that can connect to any retailer’s point of sale (POS) system, extract the rough inventory data and show, in real time, who locally stocks a product, and at what price.
After initially offering the technology through its own platform, on a website and app, last year NearSt decided to partner with platforms with a higher consumer profile.
Through NearSt’s link-up with Google, consumers searching for products online through Google Search will now be able to see what nearby shops are stocking, with distance, price and availability also provided.
Alara Health Store in Bloomsbury, London, is one retailer who is piloting the technology partnership. “NearSt and Google has been a great way for us to create more awareness of our shop, and so attract more local customers who can benefit from our staff knowledge choosing the right products, rather than ordering online from our competitors,” says Parry Kohsravi, who co-owns Alara with her brother Mehr. “It’s actually getting more people into high street shops.”
NearSt and Google has been a great way for us to create more awareness of our shop, and so attract more local customers who can benefit from our staff knowledge choosing the right products, rather than ordering online from our competitors
Commenting on the deal, Nathalie Walton, global head of local shopping, Google Shopping, says: “NearSt has some fantastic technology which we are leveraging to make it as easy to shop locally as it is online. It gives small retailers the ability to compete effectively in the online world, without needing any of the technical and financial firepower of their online competitors.”
Shops who want to join, sign-up to NearSt which can then connect directly to their POS system to receive a regular feed of the in-store inventory. NearSt automatically turns this into products that are listed on the store’s near.st shop page as well as on Google. It only takes a few minutes of the retailer’s time, says the company, and the rest all happens behind the scenes.
Photo l-r: Nick Brackenbury, Parry Kohsravi, Max Kreijn