At the start of the pandemic, we wanted to connect customers to local merchants and bring more light to local commerce.
It's not a secret that local stores have been struggling even before the pandemic hit. The trend towards big box retail and mass e-commerce largely bypassed local merchants.
At the start of the pandemic, we wanted to help. So we launched a website that helps drive traffic and awareness to our local stores in the Waterloo area.
Quick iteration from spreadsheet to Airtable to Webflow, focusing on making local businesses easier to discover.
The first iteration focused on groceries and essentials but we realized we wanted to build something more enduring.
Something that really highlights the breadth of local offerings and lives on beyond the pandemic.
Discovery - What's around me?
Instead of just a simple directory, our focus shifted to more editorial-style highlights of local businesses that help people discover the awesome things they can get locally.
Action - what can I get?
As part of a mini-marketplace, there is an opportunity to build out lightweight mini-stores that list a few items and that allow merchants who are intimidated with full scale power of e-commerce solutions to get up and running quickly.
Curbside pickup and local delivery where big unlocks.
The response has been pretty amazing so far to see the thousands of people using it in our community and even the word of mouth spread on communities like reddit!