After precisely identifying trends in the local market, Unilever is now offering new players a way to join in the online retail shopping revolution. Meet Shopo!
Unilever clearly identified two key trends in today’s Israeli retail market. First, Israeli consumers are shopping nearer to home and have returned to shopping at their neighborhood grocery stores. The second trend is the consistent growth in the amount of consumer products purchased online. Most of the major retail chains understand and have adjusted to the online shopping revolution, but local grocery stores and businesses have not joined the trend. Part of the reason is that an individual grocery store does not have the financial ability to compete directly with the major retailers. More fundamentally, individual small businesses lack the resources needed to even begin creating the logistical process involved in shifting to online sales.
To meet this gap in the market, Unilever Israel launched Shopo, an online commerce site for neighborhood grocery stores and small businesses. By giving neighborhood grocery stores the unique opportunity to take part in today’s online shopping revolution and to enjoy its benefits, Shopo is, in effect, providing a platform that combines the two major trend in Israel’s retail market: local grocery shopping and increased online buying.
Offering subsidized costs and ongoing professional guidance from Unilever experts, Shopo will catapult neighborhood grocery stores into the revolutionary age of online shopping. Small grocers can offer neighborhood residents speedy, convenient and comfortable purchases and deliveries of store items from a branded website, without losing the personal touch that makes grocery stores and neighborhood businesses so popular. With Shopo, consumers who are used to making day-to-day purchases at their neighborhood grocery stores or supermarkets can now use a cellular app or their home computers to do their local shopping more quickly and conveniently. Unilever’s system enables local groceries and business to stay relevant and even expand in today’s online shopping age, without losing their advantage of providing personal service to their communities.
The first step in launching Shopo involved including a limited number of grocery stores in a pilot project. These stores received comprehensive guidance from Unilever about developing their online commercial activity. The success of the grocery stores involved in the pilot was then publicized through local and national media activity, leading to additional grocery stores joining Shopo, as well as to a constant increase in sales levels using the new platform.
In the local media, grocery store owners were given a forum to tell their stories and share their experiences and successes as part of Shopo’s online shopping revolution. The national media activity, based on data received from the pilot period, described how small grocery stores could now work online and focused on the purchasing habits and growth of the grocery store market sector.