LocIT provides local organizations that service and promote the community such as newspapers, chambers of commerce, and local government agencies with a "turnkey" e-commerce marketplace website and routed distribution system that can strengthen the local economy by keeping e-commerce dollars at home.
With LocIT, there is nothing left to create. We take care of it and lock it into place for you. Special features include:
Local newspapers can help local businesses increase their sales by sponsoring a "buy local" website. For years, the local newspaper was the central hub and resource for promoting products and services for local businesses. By sponsoring a local e-commerce website, the newspaper continues to play that role. And a percentage of the sales made on the website will help pay the bills to keep local journalism alive and thriving. Newspapers can manage the built-in LocIT delivery process themselves or outsource it to a local delivery company.
The Business Development office can do a great service for the local business community by having the city or town sponsor a local ecommerce marketplace. Retailers and producers in the community are losing business to national websites and you can help by giving the community a local option. If all or most sellers in your community list their products and services on a single website, the community will have the broad selection that national websites offer, and e-commerce dollars will stay at home.
Local Chambers of Commerce are uniquely positioned to sponsor a local e-commerce marketplace because their mission is to support local businesses and build a healthy local economy. LocIT can help. LocIT will provide full support for creating a chamber-sponsored website where local sellers can list their products and services and recoup sales now lost to national e-commerce websites. The local community will have access to a broad selection of products from all participating sellers on a single website with same-day delivery.
1. A modern website with powerful search capabilities.
Your organization's name and logo will be on the homepage's header. The goal is to make sure customers see it is your e-commerce website. As an added SEO bonus, you can backlink it from your organization's website as well.
2. Offers a routed distribution system that supports the pick-up process.
Once a purchase is made, our routing system picks up products from sellers, sorts them by delivery route, and delivers them to the customers in an optimized fashion. That way, the customer will receive their products on time and will increase the possibility they'll purchase again from the seller. Happy customers equal more business for you!
3. Each seller has their own account on the system.
Every participating seller has a personalized account that informs them of new purchases and lets them adjust the number of products available for sale, price changes, and anything else when needed.
4. Our system includes a full-featured inventory database.
While most products on the website would be those of local sellers, your organization might also wish to inventory products for sale on the website.
Some examples of items you might sell would be:
5. The LocIT system has an easy returns process.
A simple returns process is a critical feature for an e-commerce site. The LocIT returns process is super simple. Here's how it works:
6. All financial activity is tracked.
The system includes a full accounting of all financial activity including sales by seller, credit card charges, sales tax collection, commissions to the sponsor, etc., and includes an easy-to-use program to reconcile financial activity to your bank account.
The heart of the delivery system is the app that the drivers use. It's available for both iPhone and Android users. It guides the drivers on their routes, records the location of each order, makes sure the deliveries are made to the correct address using GPS checking, records a chain-ofcustody, and supports a proof of delivery photo. The same app is used for managing the transfer of orders from pickup routes to delivery routes and, if the inventory system is used by the sponsor, for pulling and shelving inventory.
Since each delivery run is different, each run is optimized to make deliveries in the most efficient manner. Even when a driver is scheduled to pick up a return, that stop is included in the optimization. That enables the system to alert a customer with a return of the approximate time that the driver will be arriving to pick it up. And, of course, customers are advised by email when deliveries are made.
A great feature of the LocIT system is that a customer can include purchases from multiple sellers in a single order. And the LocIT hub-andspoke delivery concept means that all the items arrive as a single delivery. Note in the picture to the right that no special packaging is required. Sellers turn the orders over to the pickup driver using the same packaging that they would use for an in-store purchase. Bar code tracking makes sure that the right item gets to the right customer.
This interview discusses both the way that a local e-commerce marketplace can be implemented and the importance of a local e-commerce marketplace in maintaining a vibrant downtown retail environment.The interview was conducted by our partners at RouteSmart.