Virtual high street opens for business as independents are united

26 May 2016


AN online high street for independent retailers from across Lincolnshire has been brought to life.

OneLincolnshire, an e-commerce platform for local traders, is the latest service to be added to the Grimsby-based Business Hive Club's support package.
Launched this week, it is well on its way to an early target of 50 retailers and more than 5,000 products.
Sam Burgess, membership manager at E-Factor's Business Hive, said: "Retailers don't naturally get a lot of business support from the area. A lot of funding is directed at creating jobs, so we thought about what we could do to get retailers to push more products and create more sales.
"Even if the businesses have their own websites, this is another shop window for them."
Grimsby businesswoman Jo Smedley, who runs Red Herring Games, introduced the E-Factor team to the concept, having been part of retail magnate Theo Paphitis' Small Business Sunday initiative, which also has its own site, having been spawned by incredibly popular Twitter competition.
She has also joined with traders in Wellowgate, where she is based, to launch OneWellowate. All are provided by Manchester-based MercadoOne.
Mrs Smedley said: "It's really important to support local businesses. When you buy local you aren't supporting big super-chain bosses increasing salaries – rather you're enabling a mother to buy ballet lessons, or a father support their child through university.
"These sites give the shop owners in our small community a way of reaching the region easily."
Business Hive Club has 285 members paying £25 a month for the support and networking opportunities provided at the Dudley Street hub, and whenever a new retailer registers on OneLincolnshire, E-Factor will pay a charge to the host from that fee. No other cost or commission is paid by vendors.
While many sign up to offer full e-commerce including delivery, others offer click and collect services. Traders can upload products themselves, with orders received by email. It is fully supported with social media marketing and Business Hive is planning a full promotional campaign as traction gains.

For more information call Sam on 01472 242667 or email sam.burgess@businesshive.net.

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