Close
 

Shop Small aims to encourage Kiwis to shop locally online

  • Technology
  • August 18, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
Shop Small aims to encourage Kiwis to shop locally online

New Plymouth-based web developer Shay Starrenburg was inspired to start Shop Small by a Facebook meme encouraging her friends to support one anothers’ businesses. Her community’s genuine, encouraging responses touched Starrenburg deeply, and she realised she had the skills to create a platform which facilitated these connections.

“It’s so great when you see businesses empower each other rather than focus so hard on competing. “

For a fixed cost per month comparable to the price of a market stall, retailers are presented as part of an online community. We asked Starrenburg for more detail about how Shop Small will work when it launches next month.

Tell us about what you hope to do for local online stores with Shop Small.

I have to confess, I have an online shopping addiction, but I have always found it frustrating that shopping locally online is so hard. Being a web developer, I know the internet a lot better than the average person and even I spend hours (and hours) trying to find great local shops in Google.  You're always hit with pages from huge chain stores, as these guys have the money to spend on some serious digital marketing. 

I’m really passionate about supporting local so the reason I have started Shop Small is to put all these amazing hidden websites in one place so you can actually find them. You’re always hearing that online shopping is rapidly increasing every year – let’s help keep more of that in New Zealand.

Tell us how the site will work.

I tried explaining this to my Nana the other day and the best way I could get her to understand is we’re kind of like a virtual mall of New Zealand-owned shops – [you’re] looking into the shop windows and deciding which ones you want to go into.

It doesn’t get much better than shopping in your trackies, bra-free, slouched on the couch whilst sipping a good wine.

We’re about promoting everyone’s ecommerce websites rather than have them upload their products with us. We’re a visual directory so unlike Google, where you have a line of text deciding if you want to click through, we’re showcasing images so you get the feel of the business and their style straight away. You can also ‘favourite’ shops you love while browsing and come back to [them] again and again.

We also have a subscription area to the website where shoppers can sign up to get promotions from our local stores via email, based on the categories they are interested in. I love a good sale - put something in a red font and I’m yours!

Our Instagram is a big collection of our members and their products - this is embedded into our website so you can shop straight from the feed to our members ecommerce stores to buy the products direct.

The other part is the members area where shop owners can chat with each other in a forum used for trading tips, forming collabs and making friends. Collabs are really on trend and such a great way to market. Say you sell socks and I sell shoes - it’s likely that our different pools of customer following like both socks and shoes, so let’s help promote each other and both reap the benefit.

The profiles of retailers are interesting. What made you want to implement this idea?

Why do you want to shop local? You want to support New Zealand and you want to support real people. We want shoppers to meet the amazing entrepreneurs or crafters behind the businesses. When you shop local you’re supporting things like kids’ swimming lessons and family outings and I want people to see that. Shop Small is all about having a real community feel. I have already had a taste of this community since I’ve started approaching businesses a couple of weeks ago - everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Is it New Zealand-wide or are you targeting a particular area?

[It’s] New Zealand wide but if you want to actually go 'out and about shopping' we have filters available so you can see which of our members also have brick and mortar stores based on your location. This is especially good if you’re going away for a weekend and want to find those quirky hidden shops that can’t necessary afford the big rent prices in the middle of town/shopping malls.

Is there anything you think more SME retailers should understand about ecommerce?

It’s the way of the future!

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

The $200 million-plus direct sales economy contains many lessons retailers can use. As part of a wider look at this thriving corner of retail, we created a quick explainer showing how this business model typically works.

Read more
 
 

Direct sales: Meet the upliners

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the upliners

We profiled different participants in the direct sales industry to find out what retailers can learn from them. Meet Isagenix distributors Adam Nesbitt and Bianca Bathurst.

Read more
 
 

Direct sales: Meet the business builder

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the business builder

As part of a wider story looking at what retailers can learn from the direct sales industry, we profiled Isagenix distributor Ben Frost.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 
News

Leveling up: Exploring multi-level marketing in New Zealand

Is the $200 million-plus direct sales economy retail by another name or something different? Regardless, what can we learn from it?

 
 

A spectrum of retailers

  • Opinion
  • April 18, 2019
  • David Farrell
A spectrum of retailers

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, retail commentator Dave Farrell considers the role of those on the spectrum in retail.

Read more
 

How on-trend is your retail business?

  • Sponsored Content
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sponsored content
How on-trend is your retail business?

New insights from Visa highlight five evolving trends emerging from savvy retailers around the world. We’ve taken these global trends and looked at how they are playing out with merchants in New Zealand, and we’d now like to hear what you think of them.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}