SanomaVentures has announced its latest investment: Locals United. Locals United offers regular brick & mortar stores an ecommerce platform that enables easy online sales.
Locals United was founded in 2012 by Neil Persoon, who used to be a product manager at Stinger. The firm provides local retailers their own webshop environment and also facilitates the logistics & operations of running an online outlet by taking care of product photography, payments, delivery and online promotion.
Retailers join Locals United through a subscription and receive three sales channels: a web shop under their own domain name, a shop on their Facebook page and their own shop-in-shop at the central site of Locals United itself.
Taking care of everything
Locals United continuously adds new features to its platform. Among the platform’s latest features are local store recommendations and a feature known as “shop local”, which provides consumers a real-time view in the inventory of local shops. To help boost offline sales in the actual store space, Locals United also offers an interactive touch screen kiosk with which customers can browse through the store’s entire collection of brands – and order products which are out of stock.
Neil Persoon, founder of Locals United, comments: “Sanoma is a strategic partner and the value of the partnership widely exceeds the financial investment. The combination of a major player’s online expertise and wide marketing scope ensures we can grow Locals United faster, in the Netherlands and abroad.”
Herman Kienhuis, investment director at SanomaVentures, adds: “Online and offline shopping converge. Locals United developed and marketed a successful model that bridges the gap between online and offline.”
As usual in the case of SanomaVentures investments no transaction details were provided.
Photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)