Independent toy shops lacking the infrastructure to compete with some of the biggest online retailers are being offered a means of leveling the playing field, through the launch of BeeZee – a new app and website that lets users shop locally from their own home.
Launched as a means of supporting the ailing high street that has faced mounting pressures from social restrictions and stop-start lockdown rules over the course of the last year alone, as well as increasing rents and business rates since long before the pandemic hit, BeeZee hosts indie retailers from toy shops and bakeries to electronic stores.
The app allows users to shop local from their high street and purchase items that are then delivered to their door via courier.
According to the app’s designer and developer, Georgina Green, BeeZee is ‘set to revolutionise the high street and support small, local retailers’, offering them an ‘additional avenue for revenue’ and the chance to benefit from online and app sales.
Unlike other apps in the market that charge up to as much as 30 per cent of sales made, the BeeZee app takes a minimal percentage following a free trial. It is also free to join.
To support retailers during lockdown, BeeZee waives its nominal fee, and to offer ongoing support to delivery drivers, they receive 100 per cent of the delivery fee on an ongoing basis.
“Local retailers have had to work harder than ever to ensure that they are meeting the ever-evolving customer experience, and in the current climate it’s vital that we support these independent shops to ensure they survive,” Green told ToyNews.
“By shopping local, you are supporting the local economy and creating jobs. Local businesses often do not have the technological know-how or infrastructure to create an online platform which would enable them to make sales while in lockdown and beyond, and that’s where BeeZee comes in.
“The app allows consumers to shop the local high street from the comfort of their home, meeting the consumers’ needs as well as the needs of retailers.
“Our local high streets and independent retailers are the cornerstones of our communities and by supporting them in any way we can, we’re helping them to survive under the growing economic pressures which were already mounting but have been made undeniable worse by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
Green is adamant that while the pandemic has forced a surge in online shoppers, BeeZee will maintain its relevance in a post-pandemic world, too – tapping into the audience of consumers grown comfortable with online shopping yet keen on supporting local retailers.
“Online shopping is here to stay and it’s our mission to offer local, independent retailers a way to embrace this trend and ensure they profit for survival,” continued Green.
“When our lives start to resemble the pre-pandemic world again, everyone will be busy and making up for lost time, with BeeZee they can access their local high street, make purchases and have items delivered directly to their door without going out of their way.
“They will also be safe in the knowledge their supporting their local high street and benefitting independent retailers who need support more than ever.”