Hyperlocal is the new blue-eyed boy for investors. It is also the last frontier for customer engagement. It is a no-brainer that since it’s an aggregation model it is asset-light and less capital-intensive. Moreover, it is easier to scale up such a model. The new generation of hyperlocal startups is coupling aggregation with logistics/delivery, thus controlling even the last mile.
The space has seen a lot of investors' interest in recent times with multi-million dollar investments going into it. In recent times, apart from new startups, giants like Amazon too have entered this space, making it look much promising.
Well, coming back, now that you have decided to get into the hyperlocal business, here are 10 things every startup needs to keep in mind.
What does it take to create a successful hyperlocal delivery model?
1. Think beyond geography
Hyperlocal does not have to mean coverage of one particular area. The biggest learning will be the capability to scale. A hyperlocal that focuses on a single ‘locality’ will find it difficult to get the scale needed to create an economically viable model. Being able to identify a widespread but local need and having a model that adapts to each new market will be crucial.
2. Have the art of converting employees into entrepreneurs
Create a 360-degree communication system so that even your foot soldiers are able to report matter to you. Empower people, make them work and think like entrepreneurs. Create a system where people feel recognized for their contribution.
3. Learn to say 'No'
It’s easy to get into the drift and say, “I can do this and this and this too.” You will never be able to please all of the people. Stick to your strategy, tweak it only when necessary.
4. Don’t do the things that others do, unless you can do it better
An easy trap to fall into would be to do what your nearest competitor is doing and trying to replicate that model. This would be pointless exercise and a shallow strategy. Instead, find a distinctive angle of your own. People love niche. Focus on doing what you’re able to do and do it well, rather than trying to take on the impossible.
5. Get your tie-ups right
Take Zopper for example, a product-based hyperlocal that started off as a price comparison website for electronics but now is a platform for purchasing products from offline stores. It counts on faster delivery through tie-ups with local shops near a buyer. The trick is to, bring more partners on board – city by city.
6. Be very clear about your revenue model
Home services startup Taskbob charges a 20 percent commission from its servicemen. Product price comparison website MySmartPrice works on commission too, while providing a free six-month on-board period to offline sellers.
The revenue model of BookMeIn, another services company, includes a monthly subscription fee for a SaaS-backed system given to service providers to manage their business. Furthermore, it gets revenues on leads/bookings done by customers on the website, along with revenues through ads of service providers. Understand what’s best for you.
7. Take note of service and customer experience
Training of people in services is very essential. Each individual has to be available wherever the customer is located. When a product delivery happens, he or she represents your brand and should know how to handle the customer.
The demand in the hyperlocal delivery is skyrocketing with consumers becoming more aware, comfortable and tech savvy. The service industry is moving the hyperlocal way. It won’t be too long when this model will reinvent itself to something even more niche. But that’s for later.