When small shops take leap of faith and go online

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We’ve seen a web revolution in addition to Internet getting cheaper and becoming a larger part of our time spent. Today, the Internet is an integral part of our work and personal lives. We are in the middle of a revolution that revolves around the Internet, the smart phone and our new found love for conveniences that startups have spoilt us with in the last decade of their existence. We now take a cab instead of autos, order products online instead of visiting retail outlets, book movie tickets online instead of standing in a queue, order food online instead of calling the restaurant and reserve travel online instead of calling our travel agent.

All these conveniences have led to a lazy economy that prefers online over offline. Even though this is not true for the entire population, this is surely one of the largest trends among the high earning and spending urban populace.

Startups, growing on the back of a convenience seeking, Internet-browsing population, aggregated the supply side. Startups understand technology better than the traditional businesses and the businesses understand nuances of their particular vertical better than startups. The aggregators provided consumers the convenience using the already existing supply. Leading to heavy commissions and a supply side that is now yearning for technology that makes them independent so they don’t have to part with heavy commissions. They are now looking for solutions that help bridge the technology gap between them and sophisticated online marketplaces.

Goodbox was born as a solution out of that very need. Some of the large trends that propel its existence are businesses and shops that want to control their online destiny, be independent and have direct relationships with their customers. On the other hand we have customers who suffer from app fatigue and don’t want to download multiple apps for different businesses.

Goodbox offers the ability for businesses to get a mini-app within 5 minutes. A mini-app, as the name suggests, is an app that lies within an app. Since consumers want a single app to buy from multiple businesses, Goodbox is the only app they need to download. Within the Goodbox app lie 1000s of mini-apps (4500+ mini-apps at last count) of individual shops. Consumers can Explore and find their favorite business on the Goodbox app and start using their mini-app within seconds (without having to download any more apps).

Most of the businesses have never had an online presence, but because of the simple DIY nature of the Goodbox platform, are now going online within minutes. They now invite their consumers whole heartedly to buy from them online, directly. No more middlemen. These businesses and shops are now uploading their menu and price details, have a chat-enabled mini-app that also accepts payments online! They also get delivery support from third-party logistics providers through the Goodbox platform. Many businesses are also using the ‘Rewards Program’ to enable their consumers to earn points every time they buy from them – a feature they could never enable without the help of technology.

The democratization of this complicated technology, made-easy for millions of businesses, will enable them to participate in the online revolution that the consumer of today is seeking. Consumers on the other hand are happy about their trusted local shops going online, now offering them an added convenience of viewing products, ordering and paying these shops online – and earning reward points while doing so.

Gmail democratized email, Google democratized discovery, Facebook democratized having a personal profile online, LinkedIn democratized hosting resumes online, Uber democratized getting a personal driver – Goodbox will democratize getting an app presence without having to create one. By giving businesses their own mini-app!

(This article is authored by Mayank Bidawatka, Co-Founder, Goodbox)

(Image: Thinkstock)
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