It’s always been a challenge for independent shops offering something ‘different’ to hold their own against big chain rivals that cater to the mass market and have huge economies of scale when it comes to pricing. That dynamic has increasingly translated into online retail where the big boys increasingly dominate, a fact demonstrated last week when U.S. tech giant Amazon, whose core business is online retail, posted recorded quarterly profits of $2.5 billion (£1.91 billion).
Amazon’s dominance of the growing online retail sector has the big bricks and mortar operators running scared. They are scrambling to ramp up their own online presence to survive in a new digital-dominated retail reality but are trying to make up ground against a hugely wealthy and experienced rival that already has much of the best online real estate cornered.
Small bricks and mortar independents are struggling to compete against the big bricks and mortar chains. The big bricks and mortar chains are struggling to compete against Amazon online, with online retail already accounting for 15 pence in every pound consumers spend. It looks like independent bricks and mortar retail occupies a bleak position in the retail chain and a struggle for survival, especially in an environment of increasing business rates. Luckily, Amazon has a relatively new but quickly growing UK rival whose business model is based on providing an online platform designed to help even the digital field for independents.
Trouva, a London-based tech start-up that is now five years old curates the cream of the UK’s bricks and mortar ‘boutique’ retail on its digital marketplace. If Amazon and eBay are the online equivalents of a huge out-of-town mall or retail park full of international chains, Trouva is the online embodiment of the ‘off high street’ cobbled road lined with artisanal independents selling painstakingly selected, high quality products. The platform is designed to put these independents in front of what would otherwise be inaccessible online footfall.
In Trouva’s own words:
“This empowers them to…