From L-R: Founder of cloudtown Emma Fletcher with Mark Caswell at The Carshalton Patch Ltd. cloudtown’s latest business sign-up
A local Carshalton-based mum and web development business owner has launched an online portal called ‘cloudtown’ to help local retailers get online, to maximise their income by up to 95 percent, on average*.
Surrey resident Emma Fletcher had the lightbulb moment after launching a survey that revealed a massive 9 out of 10 local people (95%) aren’t able to go to the Carshalton High Street due to three main reasons:
- Lack of parking (40%)
- Not enough time in the day (40%)
- Necessity to take small children to the stores (15%)
The new retail portal, cloudtown, enables all retailers with little to no online experience to start an online shop, and sell goods or their services in as little as an hour to over 46,000 local Carshalton residents, and beyond.
With online retail giants such as eBay and Amazon putting pressure on local retailers on the high street, the portal is a saving grace for many retailers:
Sarah Blight owner of The Handmade Gift Company has recently joined cloudtown – she comments: “What a great idea! I’m just about to take part in the cloudtown training programme to make sure I get the most out of my new online presence.
“With big online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, I started to think I’d never stand a chance to compete online. Now I’m starting to see things very differently, thanks to Emma and cloudtown.”
Training programs for new signups will be taking place at Bailey’s Deli in Carshalton on Thursday 5th February and Tuesday 10th February at 8pm. The sessions will introduce businesses to the website set-up and help to get the help to get products online before launch. All local business owners are welcomed to come along and check it out with no obligation to join.
Emma Fletcher, Founder of cloudtown and local business owner comments on the launch of cloudtown: “The reality is that I, myself, have experienced all of the barriers to shopping on the high street that came out of the survey, so I could see that something had to change.
“As a website developer, I understand that everyone has varying levels of digital competency, but that shouldn’t hold back local retailers. Now they can sell their wares and services online, as well as in their fantastic bricks and mortar shops.”
The portal is currently enlisting local businesses, who can join for free, and is due to launch on 28th February 2015. cloudtown will then roll out across a number of towns in the UK in 2015.
* Cloudtown was founded based on the results of a survey of 156 people based in Carshalton via Survey Monkey in August 2014.
For further information about cloudtown, to arrange an interview with Emma, or to list your business, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Alana Caldwell on 0203 551 3954.
Notes to editor
- cloudtown was created as a way to support local shops and help to make them more accessible by using an online platform
- Emma Fletcher is a working mum of three children
- cloudtown currently has 12 business registered in the Sutton and Carshalton area
- www.cloudtown .co.uk is currently in-beta and is due to officially launch in February 2015
- Bailey’s Deli address for training session is:
- 3 Beeches Avenue
About online retail
- Government reports figures show that 90% of the UK population uses the internet. Over 84% of all 45-75 year-olds use the internet
- 84.4% 45-75 year olds use the internet.1
- 89.8% of the UK’s population uses the internet (as of 2013) 2
- 50% of retail shoppers over 50 browse items they didn’t originally intend on buying3
- 13% of the total UK economy is made up of online retail4
- BBC is reporting that the value of the web economy in G20 countries will nearly double by 2016. 5
- Two-thirds of Americans 50+ buy from e-retailers online (Pew) 6
- UK online retail sales risen by £6bn / 16% in the last year7
- British online businesses are growing more than 50 times faster than the UK economy as a whole8
- Convenience very important in shopping behaviour9
- Time is the most popular English noun10 – we live in a culture which places great value on it11
- People will choose an option they know something about12
- Buying is influenced by the ‘ambiguity effect’ – where if items are equal, but more is known about one, that one will be vastly more popular
- (emarketer research)
- Kelley, E. J. (1958). The Importance of Convenience in Consumer Purchasing. Journal of Marketing, 23, 1, 32-38.
- Oxford English Dictionary (2006). The Popularity of “Time” Unveiled. Reported in BBC News, 25/6/06
- Berry, L. (1979). The Time-Buying Consumer. Journal of Retailing. 55 (Winter), 58-69.
- Camerer, C. & Weber, M. (1992). Recent developments in modeling preferences: Uncertainty and ambiguity. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5 (4), 325-370.