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Now there’s nothing stopping small businesses selling online

A West Midlands business is helping small retail and hospitality businesses sell online – without any upfront financial commitment or need for technical know-how – as they seek to recover from lockdown.

OurLocal.uk, based in Cannock, Staffordshire, has been helping a wide variety of small businesses add a new dimension to the way they sell to customers old and new.

As owners look to increase sales as lockdown begins to ease, cafes, takeaways, farm shops and convenience stores in towns and villages need the support of their local communities more than ever, but it’s also important they can adapt to meet the needs of consumer habits.

Ourlocal.uk is an innovative new company that designs and delivers e-commerce websites for small businesses – covering the cost of set-up – so they can take online orders from customers and arrange deliveries and collections.

According to managing director Russ James, it is vital that businesses move with the times to help them thrive in post-Covid times.
Russ said: “The last 12 months has seen a dramatic acceleration in online shopping, with the largest increase coming from the over-50s sector. Global businesses have reaped the benefits in the shape of massive profits, with record numbers of people using the likes of Amazon and JustEat, while our small local traders are cast further adrift.
“I’ve been in the design industry for over 30 years, and during that time I have created lots of websites for corporate clients who rely on their online presence. However, bespoke e-commerce websites are not cheap, which means they are often out of reach for the typical small local retailer.”
He added: “There are options out there to build your own website, but your average small business owner simply does not have the time or technical skill to do it themselves. That’s why I created OurLocal.uk, which builds online shops for small businesses for free, and we also do all the technical stuff for them.
“This includes adding their menu or products, connecting their secure payment system, and setting up all their collection and delivery criteria, so they are good to go in no time at all.”
Initially OurLocal.uk launched with the offer of a 30-day free trial, with a low fixed-cost fee per month and the option to cancel anytime. Many businesses took advantage of this and continue to trade online very successfully.
However, with the uncertainty surrounding forced closures and a severe lack of confidence about future trading restrictions, many small businesses are still nervous about committing to any form of additional fixed cost.

Russ said: “We thought our offer was perfect for small businesses, as it enabled them to spread the cost of a professional e-commerce website over a long period of time. But the more business owners we spoke to, the more we realised just how tough things are for them, and the thought of committing to even £23 a week was still too much for some.
“That’s why we’ve changed our pricing structure. We still build the websites for free, but now charge 6% on any orders they receive, (which includes all credit/debit card fees and merchant fees). If they receive no orders, they pay nothing whatsoever. There’s no annual hosting or maintenance costs, and they can still cancel anytime. Now, there is absolutely no reason why any small business shouldn’t have their own online shop.”
The boom in online shopping tells us consumers are comfortable paying a little extra for the convenience of purchasing from the safety and comfort of their own home, so, if they wish, business owners can also recover the commission and payment fee, with a small increase in their online prices, added Russ.
“As with any business, OurLocal.uk also has costs and staff to pay. Fortunately, we are in a position where we can recover these over a period of time. This is primarily due to the financial backing we received from a very successful, local entrepreneur, who is passionate about helping as many small businesses as possible.”

Ourlocal.uk is an innovative new company that designs and delivers e-commerce websites for small businesses – covering the cost of set-up – so they can take online orders from customers and arrange deliveries and collections.

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Why choose Ourlocal.uk?

• Your Own Branded Website built for free
* We’ll have your new website up and running in days.
• Menu and prices added
• Collection/Delivery Details added
• Domain Name Included
• Hosting and Maintenance Included
• Secure Payment Gateway Included
• PCI compliant
* 6% + 50p on any orders received (Includes Credit/Debit Card Fees and Merchant Fees)
* There’s no contract, so you can cancel any time.