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AtHashtags introducing TradeSQuares

When AtHashtags set out to create for shoppers a marketplace of personalised online and in-store recommendations of products from small and large retailers, we couldn’t fathom the mammoth task connecting smaller retail vendors with shoppers would be. Shoppers were more interested in smaller vendors’ in-store offering for the touch and feel, point of contact, enhanced experience, confidence of paying (most times cash transactions), returns and refunds assurance and many more.

We knew the best way to make this work would be to solve the problem of proximity to ever mobile shoppers, a viable click and collect solution to support a strong e-commerce capability and many more frictions shoppers experience whilst shopping with smaller retailers.

We would have to create a solution that would enable vendors to be within physical reach of shoppers.

We came up with the motto, if it is more than 5 miles from the shopper, it is too far… We knew the idea of “build a glorious flagship storefront” many miles off wouldn’t work, we had to move at the pace of the shoppers need for immediacy.

We also knew we couldn’t leave the retailers to their devises, we needed an exciting solution that is uniform and easy to get to. Then the thought hit us; what is more exciting than pop-up shops?

Pop up shops are temporary short-term retail units where vendors can very briefly however intensively engage with shoppers.

The good thing about this is the vendor can always set up another one very easily; kind of like touring. It is easy, relatively cheaper as it is short term, business rates are factored in, and ultimately a good pop up would always be in an area of high foot traffic.

While this sounded attractive, the proposition sounded preposterous as a solution for our platform. We wanted shoppers to engage with brands on a short-term appearance and then form long lasting bonds with them? “That surely must defeat the purpose” we thought. We asked ourselves “Would it just not be better to have a permanent space, so items can be displayed in perpetuity”?

Then, Berne, AtHashtags CEO remembered his early days as a tech entrepreneur in the Silicon Roundabout of London, work days were in co-working, the co-working provider had spaces in up to 1500 locations globally, which meant that Berne and the team could work in up to 1500 places, with over 50 places around London, we got to experience true freedom of working. On Fridays, there was this spectacular weekly event, where the ever-changing location is announced every Monday, people from various sectors would religiously gather every Friday with new faces, familiar friendly faces all converging at new interesting spots every Friday to share drinks and network.

This gave us increased confidence that AtHashtaggers (AtHashtags shopping community) would love TradeSQuares as it is interesting new places where they can shop, engage with vendors and other AtHashtaggers all within proximity.

TradeSQuares allows vendors to book up to four spaces (Tradepods) each within a shared Pop up shop (MarketSQuare) for their merchandise to be showcased to shoppers (AtHashtaggers and fresh faces).

Be a part of the TradeSQuares journey, find out more now on TradeSQuares.com

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