Our new venture, local.co.uk, is ready for its next phase. This is a new online marketplace to allow small, independent sellers to reach out to customers across the UK where they’re not served well at the moment. This is by no means a finished product, but by letting customers see and use it early on, we can use their data and feedback to help us develop it for the future – eg, which features to build and what products to range. This trial is part of our investment in our Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities ambition.
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Plus, we’re always looking out for new sellers who could sell quality hard to find children’s pet and homeware products. Please complete this online form if you’re interested in being a seller on the site.
Why we’re investing in local.co.uk
This venture supports both parts of our ambition. It helps us have a stronger Co-op by diversifying into a new service – therefore giving us new income and building stronger communities by allowing those with great ideas and products access to a nationwide audience – with those individuals taking that income back into their community and potentially being able to grow their business.
Why we’re different
Local.co.uk is different from our competitors in this area, such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy. In a world of internet giants we want to provide an alternative marketplace that’s based on the values and principles of the Co-op. We want to build a site which supports local communities, creates solidarity with independent sellers and makers and provides fair and transparent pricing.
Eric is one of our sellers – Statement Artwork. Watch his story about what he does and his passion behind his very unique posters and prints.
You can view this video via YouTube (search for ‘statement artworks’) or read the transcript.
Note for preview users
Thank you to those colleagues around Manchester who tried the site in advance. From your feedback we’ve reduced postage costs, amended how we display the products and improved the product filter when you’re searching. And sorry if it was a bit slow when we first launched it, you overloaded our servers with your interest! We’ve now improved that and we’ve added 14 more sellers to it since we started – so go on, have another look.
Ventures – New Economies team
EDIT: If you want to know more about our ventures and what we’re aiming to achieve with them, have a look at this earlier story about what ventures is about.