2021 was an enormous year for the Locally Online-to-Offline (O2O) shopping network. Let's run down some of the key numbers for each of our core user groups: online shoppers, local retailers, and premium brands.
Our biggest growth was with shoppers. Shoppers are increasingly using the internet to make purchasing decisions, but not necessarily purchases. They still (by a large margin) prefer shopping in their favorite nearby stores rather than having packages dropped on their porches.
Locally was built to address the four ways shoppers shop: Where, What, Who, and How?
Many online shoppers are looking for WHERE to go to nearby. To address this preference, we power hundreds of Store Locators that help shoppers find the best place to complete a successful purchase nearby. Locally also powers SEO-friendly landing pages that help shoppers discover nearby shopping venues.
A good analogy would be someone trying to find a nearby movie theatre: nearby is their highest priority.
This shopper is trying to find a product that fills a specific need. They are doing online research into backpacks, stoves, speakers, guitars, etc with the intent to make a purchase once the decision is made. Much of this decision-making happens on a manufacturer's website. This is why we offer a Product Locator for our brand partners.
The best moviegoer analogy for this shopper is someone reading reviews before they make their final movie choice and then wondering where it is playing.
This shopper has already decided what they want to buy and is now seeking WHO has the specific item in stock. The traditional sales funnel has reversed, and the shopper is seeking a venue (physical or digital) based on their product selection. They're asking, "Where can I buy this?" Locally offers many tools for this shopper to find their desired item at a store near them.
Perhaps this person has decided on the movie they want to see, but they need to find times at different theatres. They turn to the internet before getting in their car.
This person knows what they're going to buy and is only looking for the most convenient or efficient way to get ahold of their purchase. "HOW" could be an at-store purchase. Or it could be a shipped purchase. Or Prime. Or local delivery. Where Locally works for this shopper is the intersection between 'What I Want' and 'At-Store' or 'Local Delivery.' The difference between our tools and a Wal-Mart pickup is that shoppers can pick from thousands of different stores at once.
The final moviegoer analogy would be something like Fandango: a system that collects movie information from filmmakers and time slots from theatres and presents all available options (based on location) to moviegoers.
With this in mind, let's talk about how our network handled various aspects of the B2C shopping funnel.
Important note: Online marketers traditionally use the word "funnel" to describe the process of engaging shoppers and routing some percentage of them down to making a purchase. You can envision a funnel shape that starts out with 100 people and ends with one purchase. This is also known as the conversion rate. Locally measures success the same way, but based on the conversation above, we understand that funnels can look weird when shoppers move from one channel (online) to another (offline).
In 2021, Locally reached 378 million unique shoppers across the globe. We showed them maps, store info, phone numbers, and in-stock products. By the Q4 holidays, our tools were helping 3 million unique shoppers per day find something they wanted to buy nearby.
We presented those shoppers with $5 billion of in-stock, nearby inventory from over 10,000 stores across almost 2,000 different domains and in over a dozen different languages and currencies.
In 2021, on average, Locally saw shoppers adding over $200 per minute to the shopping carts we power for local merchants accepting BOPIS/ROPIS/local delivery transactions. By December, local shoppers were starting a path to purchase every few seconds.
Based on transactions that we directly handled for local merchants, plus some conservative estimates using industry attribution standards for in-store purchasing, Locally estimates that we shifted $1-2 billion in sales from online research to in-store purchase.
How did our B2B clients do?
The retailer team added inventory from almost 3,000 stores this year to our network. We also added 17 new point of sale connections, including an enterprise connection to Ascend RMS. That connection not only shares inventory from Ascend to us, but also shares sales back into Ascend through our PushCart integration tool. All told, sales generated by local retailers spiked nearly 400% in 2021 over 2020 across our network. The earliest indicators point toward shopper behavior accelerating at an even greater pace in 2022.
In 2021, almost 1,000 new stores started accepting BOPIS/ROPIS/local delivery transactions from the Locally O2O Shopping Network. While these stores contributed in large part to year-over-year growth, our expansion to globally supporting 14 currencies in 16 languages was also a large contributing factor. For 2022, our roadmap includes additional language and currency support throughout APAC, including China, as well as greater depth across EMEA.
Our brand team added hundreds of new brands to our ecosystem in 2021. Some of our most notable growth came in the bicycle and footwear industries, with these two sectors composing nearly 50% of our new business growth. We saw the shopper demand to discover local stock for same-day consumption in both of those supply channels grow at incredible rates: our numbers of in-stock product referrals repeatedly exceeded 100,000,000 per week.
Other areas of supplier growth came from home & hardware, food & beverage, and an uptick in consumer electronics. In 2022, we're going to see adoption from both brand and retailer clients in these industries accelerate, and we project that some of our greatest growth will occur there.