Why The Hyperlocal Market Is Moving Up The Value Chain From Discovery And Transactions Into Collaboration
The hyperlocal market is going through an interesting transition. While platforms like Google Maps and JustDial solved the hyperlocal discovery problem, products like Swiggy and UrbanCompany solved the hyperlocal services and transactions problem. With businesses around the world moving towards a social model of selling, communities are taking centre stage. In the hyperlocal market, this necessitates a hyperlocal collaboration platform that brands and businesses can leverage.
Around 70% of our lives are spent in our neighbourhoods and communities, yet it’s an irony that we do not have many hyperlocal collaboration platforms. Multiple chat groups, noticeboards, emails, newspaper inserts, paper slip-ins and word of mouth – the community-level collaboration is very unstructured and informal. Is it time to digitize neighbourhoods and communities?
Consumer statistics seem to have the answer to this question. Nearly 3/4ths of local searches end up in a physical visit and more than 1/4ths of these searches result in a conversion. A 25% conversion, that’s the power of the local network.
Closely related to local commerce is social commerce that has suddenly caught the attention of everyone. While the world of e-commerce allowed anyone in the world to sell to anyone globally, it did not connect the buyers and sellers directly. Social commerce seems to have made this connection or may have just digitized the world of commerce that has always existed, in our neighbourhoods and communities.
But is there a powerful interplay between social commerce and local? Do we need a Facebook for our neighbourhoods?
At IamHere, we took this problem and went about solving it. Today, there are lounges hiring musicians through the app, bakers are promoting their cakes on the app, homemakers are promoting their tuition classes on the app, there are people hosting events and parties for their neighbours on the app.
While we at IamHere are excited about the problems we are able to solve through our location-first social network, it is heartening to think about the endless possibilities of hyperlocal collaboration. But as much as the hyperlocal market should be watched out for, the hyperlocal collaboration market should catch our attention as well, for the latter could emerge as a hosting platform for multiple hyperlocal markets to be built over it.
Is it time for the hyperlocal discovery and transactions markets to move over to hyperlocal collaboration? Perhaps!