A third-generation business in the coastal village of Sutton on Sea, the team at Watson’s Home Hardware is well versed in what it takes to succeed in retail. After joining Home Hardware (a hardware store co-operative) in the 1990s, they have expanded to two locations; one focused on DIY and Gardening (featured in this case study), the other on housewares across the street.
"We’ve noticed in the last few years that people aren’t seeing what’s on their doorstep. I have people coming in saying “I’ve been everywhere looking for one of these and I live around the corner.” - Lennie, owner.
Watson’s Home Hardware saw a large influx of footfall when they joined Home Hardware and started to advertise using traditional flyer marketing. Fast forward to 2019, and they joined NearSt in hope of capturing that same influx of shoppers, just through a more modern medium.
In the age of the internet, they’ve found that the effect of their flyer marketing has diminished over time and footfall has declined on the high street because people are mistakenly thinking they have to shop online to find what they need.
The Watson’s team knew that they would have to keep up with technology, but after hearing so many pitfalls of other shop teams trying to create and manage a website, they knew getting a return on investment of both time and money would be challenging.
"We definitely knew it was working, from both people coming into the store and mentioning Google but also comparing our sales data to the weekly reports we would receive from NearSt." - Lennie, owner
After connecting with the shops’ RBA point of sale system, NearSt started to automatically feed Watson’s Home Hardware stock directly into Google searches. By having his live inventory accessible to the people searching for their products, Lennie was able to reach more people in just three weeks than they used to with their entire flyer campaign, at a small percentage of their original budget.
"NearSt is a tool that allows small businesses like mine to get people to reconsider the high street and generally get them back in touch with the choices they truly have minutes away vs an online marketplace. It’s simple, with no day to day maintenance, definitely worth the investment." - Lennie, owner
In total, over their four-week trial of NearSt PLUS, Watson’s Home Hardware's in-stock products were discovered by over 16,731 local shoppers browsing online, leading to a total of 49 estimated new customers, all with a daily spend of only £2.