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Why I believe in Citify

When I first came up with Citify, it was simply because it was impossible to simply find products with the stores within my city. It is quite frustrating to shop for local stores online. This is why, I assume, many consumers will turn towards the well known well trodden avenues of online shopping and at the expense of the local shops and services within the city.

Merchants themselves are overwhelmed with the advent of online selling and I think are in need of a marketplace of their own, where they and their products are the focus and not some unknown merchant across the world. I believe that a singular e-commerce site will not attract the same amount of traffic as an online marketplace, the same as a a shop on the corner of the street will not gain the same traction and interest as one set up in a mall. 

We envision a world where a consumers can get anything within their city and other cities around the world at their finger tips. It is not impossible to imagine that a consumer can simply ask for something and have all the local options instantly nor is it impossible to imagine that they can even set it in such a way that a certain product is delivered within an hour or even set a product to be delivered every set day within the month. All this, I think, will eventually become the future of retail.

We are living in exciting times. Times where needs can be met almost instantly. I believe that a local marketplace to allow shoppers the ability to see and receive anything and everything from within one's city or from any city around the world is part of that future, though local online marketplaces are not a new concept, what is new is that Citify is determined to make it a far more common utility which consumers can use and rely upon for their shopping needs, while other marketplaces seem to treat local shop owners as an after thought in their business model. 

I do not think that stores or malls are going anywhere, just I think an online mall with all the stores and products within a city would be an added utility that can greatly benefit stores and consumers alike. 

It is an idea I believe in, a vision that I think will make shopping simpler, smarter, quicker, and better, and it simply does not seem to exist anywhere online.  

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Survey: Retailers struggle to keep up with demand for hyperlocal delivery

Some people and investors often call us crazy for our vision of the future, in which local stores can deliver to their local consumers, and no, NOT ONLY FOOD, but everything. However, if one looks to the news concerning eCommerce developments, one quickly realizes it is the inevitable future of retail.  

AUTHOR

Dan O'Shea

PUBLISHED

June 26, 2017

Dive Brief:

  • Many retailers are intent on expanding shipping and delivery options to keep up with how Amazon has revolutionized fulfillment, but the shoppers they are looking to satisfy are expecting more — and sooner, according to the “State of Shipping in Commerce” survey from fulfillment software company Temando.

  • The study, which surveyed 270 small and medium and enterprise retailers and nearly 1,300 consumers about a range of shipping-related challenges they face, found that 41% of consumers want hyperlocal delivery and 38% would pay for it. However, only 24% of retailers offer it now, and 18% of retailers would like to offer it in the next 12 months. 

  • Almost 100% of shoppers also say they would like delivery date estimates, yet more than half of retailers currently don’t offer this feature, according to the survey.

Dive Insight:

It turns out consumers don't just want Amazon Prime from Amazon. The e-commerce giant's express shipping and membership program has changed fulfillment and logistics; forced retailers to view these aspects of the business as having competitive value; and challenged competitors to rethink delivery strategies.

But, the story of this survey from top to bottom is that as retailers look to enhance shipping programs and options, they're not moving fast enough for customer demand. One survey result speaks to that perhaps most directly: About 40% of consumers surveyed said they expect to access Amazon-prime style memberships in the next 1-3 years, but just 25% of retailers plan to introduce these services in the same period. We should not necessarily expect those percentages to be the same, but they seem far apart enough that it makes retailers seem out of touch with customer demand.

Other notable stats from this survey address some of the shipping-related reasons shoppers abandon online shopping carts: 54% of shoppers admitted to having abandoned shopping carts due to expensive shipping, while 39% abandoned their carts due to lack of a free shipping offer, and 26% abandoned their carts due to slow shipping. Also, 47% of shoppers will abandon their carts and buy from a competitor’s site when a premium delivery option is not available, the survey results showed.

While the disconnect between retailers and shoppers is clear, it's not so simple for retailers to snap their fingers and provide shipping offers and greater flexibility as long as carrier costs remain high. The trouble is that shoppers will continue to seek out other sellers if they don't get what they want. As another survey result put it, 59% of shoppers will opt to buy from a brick-and-mortar store if they perceive that the delivery fee for buying the same item online is too high.

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Citify's pitch deck for potential investors.

Citify is looking a few good investors. It is an ambitious project, and needs a lot of capital and committed people to reach to its full potential. However, if completed, it may very well be a way to help  retail survive the digital age and serve local consumers. Here is our pitch deck to explain our project. If interested to have more information or to give feed back please contact us at info@citify.ca 

It is important to note that our present site is NOT the MVP nor is it the end product, it is a test. 

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How to be successful on Citify

Here is a list of suggested ideas on how to make your Citify shop more successful. 

1. Great customer service. 

On Citify the merchants are responsible for everything, customer service, delivery, taxes, prices, etc.. so it is important to offer great customer service so as to make a great impression and to get repeat sales. 

2. Share your products on social media

Sharing on social media is a good way to get FREE advertising. On Citify sharing is simple, most of the popular social media buttons are available to you below so you and others can share your shop and products. 

3. Link Citify to your website.

If you do not have an eCommerce solution, but you have a website, why not use your Citify shop as your eCommerce site.  The advantages are that Citify is free, pay a very low commission on each sale, allows far more flexibility than other marketplaces. Suggestion: If you dont have yet a site, you can always use services such as WIX or SQUARESPACE as the main site and use Citify as your eCommerce.  

4.  Link Citify to directories

If you do not have an eCommerce site, you can use Citify as your main site to sell your products. Link it to sites like Yelp, Foresquare, Google Places, Yellow pages, and all other directories ( Here is a list of 50 Directories) where potential clients will find your shop's location online and in the same time shop online through your products directly online. 

5.  Ask for the Citify sticker. 

The Citify window sticker is available on demand, add it to your store front so your clients know you are on Citify. 

6. Ask people to be personal affiliates for your store. 

Citify has an affiliate program in which they can earn 3% commission on each sale they refer to the marketplace. It would be a good program to offer those clients or friends that are willing to promote your store online. 

7. Join the Citify IPTV service. 

IPTV is streaming internet TV. Citify initiated a IPTV station with Roku. This would be a great opportunity to take a short video about you, your store, products, and services and have it viewed on TV. 

8. Advertise the fact that you are on Citify on printed materials

Since Citify has its own easy to search directory, it is easy for your loyal consumers to find your online store and products on Citify.  

9. Tell people that you are on Citify

Tell your clients that your products are available on Citify.

10. Paid advertising. 

Link your Citify store to your paid advertising campaign on Facebook, Google adwords, etc. 

Although Citify does advertise the site and some of the products on the store through e-mail marketing, social media, social share, affiliates, and paid advertising, it will be the combined efforts of merchants and loyal clients that will make the marketplace and your store successful. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Video Tutorials for Citify Marketplace

How to open a store on Citify

How to use the Marketplace search Chrome extension 

How to Use Citify Chrome extension 

How to shop for products on Citify 

How to add products (manually) on citify 

Introduction to Citify

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THE UBER-IZATION OF SHIPPING SMALLER STORES, LOCAL DROP-OFF POINTS AND SAME-DAY DELIVERY

Source: http://10ecommercetrends.com/

"While the “big box” model continues to lose ground, eCommerce, and especially online retail orders, continues to grow, bringing with it both challenges and opportunities related to logistics and delivery. In 2017, many consumers will receive their first same-day delivery, whether at home, at work, or at a drop-off point of their choosing.

Many stores will now operate out of smaller spaces, which will serve as showrooms, fitting rooms, or drop-off points. Customers will be able to order the product they want after having seen it and touched it.

Amazon offers free same-day delivery with any purchase over $35 to its “Prime” members in 27 cities across the United States. In Canada, same-day delivery is now available in Toronto and Vancouver.

In addition to working on same-day delivery agreements with Uber and Lyft, Walmart is even exploring the idea of having a customer who makes an in-store purchase drop off another customer’s order on his way home.

Walmart is also investing in smaller stores in order to expand its reach. It would make sense for these stores to become delivery points for online purchases where customers could also pick up everyday essentials like paper towels, dish soap, perishable foods, etc.

IKEA opened six drop-off points in Canada this year in order to serve new markets. Customers make their purchases online and then pick up their order at one of the drop-off points.

Czech online retailer Zoot delivers items purchased online to a physical location within a few hours. Consumers can try on clothes and keep only the pieces they like.

Macy’s, a leading omni-channel retailer, plans to give Amazon a run for its money. The “ship from store” option will transform any Macy’s store into an order processing center, giving them 775 locations to ship from, compared to Amazon’s 66."

At Citify Marketplace, we are also exploring a way to centralize city stores and find ways to deliver products on the same day. This can be done through third party delivery and the citify delivery app. In this way, not only  the few big box stores that will benefit from such a service, but all stores found within the city.  

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Product CSV bulk upload to Citify marketplace

Citify introduces an easy CSV product upload service to easily upload your products on Citify Marketplace. Here is a quick guide to bulk upload your products onto citify.  

After you have ensured that your CSV is ready, do the following

1. Open your account click on this link https://marketplace.citify.ca/tools/productupload 

2. Correct errors if any

3. Go to your account and confirm each product, so they can be published onto citify. 

If you need any further assistance, please contact us.

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Venom Motorsports has joined Citify

Venom Motorsports a motorcycle, ATV, and pocket cycle supplier located in Ottawa Canada, has joined Citify Marketplace. Venom promises 24/7 high customer services, free shipping on most products and an unbeatable product selection. 

Here is there profile description

"Venom Motorsports is a Canadian based company in the heart of the Nation in Ottawa! We have been in business for over 10 years now and continue to grow.
Venom Motorsports products are all designed in Canada
Venom Motorsports is a large importer working directly with our manufactures to ensure a premium product and lasting quality.
Venom Motorsports have many bikes in stock: Ebikes, Pocket Bikes, Dirt Bikes and ATV’s in many colours and styles to choose from.
The manufacturers we deal with work very hard to bring us the newest, most innovative products.
Venom Motorsports strives to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction with every sale.
Venom Motorsports has a very strong web presence with excellent reviews from our many satisfied customers.
We care about our customers and wont be satisfied until you are. We have a full tech support team
 "

Here are a few of their products offered on our marketplace. 

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Urban Rider has joined Citify Marketplace

Urban Rider, a motorcycle supply shop located in Toronto has joined Citify Marketplace.  

Urban Rider promises to mach any price in Canada and offers free shipping. Awesome!

Here is there description 

"Urban Rider started in the Beach neighborhood of Toronto in 2015. We aim to combine cool products with great service and a friendly atmosphere where our customers can come to talk about motorcycles or watch motorcycle videos on our big screen.

We offer free Canada, U.S. and Global shipping for our products. The low Canadian dollar provides a great opportunity to buy from us at great prices.

Urban Rider supports motorcycle safety training by offering a 10% discount on gear purchases to students enrolled in a certified safety course. We work closely with Learning Curves which offers motorcycle training courses with classroom sessions at Urban Rider.

PRICE GUARANTEE: If you find a lower price on a product anywhere in Canada we will match or beat it. "

Here are only a few of the items they have on Citify

 

We wish Urban rider much success on citify.  

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Original Blues has Joined Citify Marketplace

Original Blue, a shop that specializes in denim and knitwear located in Thatcham, United Kingdom, has joined Citify Marketplace.  

"Original Blues Knitwear was the first to recognize the qualities and potential of using an indigo dyed yarn, 'Denim' to produce knitwear back for men and women in 1985. Original Blues has been getting stronger and stronger since then, providing an online collection of both basic and fashion lines for every season.

Only the highest quality yarns and materials are used to make our knitwear, paying particular attention to detail whilst constantly introducing and refreshing our knitwear collection with styling and colours. That is why we are known as “The Indigo Knitwear Company”.

 

Here are some of the great products available on Original Blues shop on Citify
 

We wish Original Blues much success on Citify Marketplace.  

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Allurez Fine Jewelry Joins Citify

Allurez Fine Jewelry, based in New York City, has joined Citify Marketplace. Allurez offers fine jewlery with the most exquisite precious stones and metals for every and any occasion. All products are shipped for free. Here are some of the products available on Citify with more to come in the near future. 

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Luxe Jewels joins Citify Marketplace

Luxe Jewels, a jewelry supplier located in Toronto, Canada has joined Citify Marketplace. They promise to supply exquisite pieces of Jewelry at a far lower price.   Here are some of the products available on citify

We wish Luxe Jewels much sucess on our platform. 

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Lazy Acres MT in Montana joins Citify Marketplace

 

Lazy Acres MT, a shop based in Montana U.S.A has joined CItify Marketplace. The merchant offers many unique hand crafted products. Lazy Acres describes itself as follows.  

"I have been selling online since 1999 starting out selling genuine gemstone and sterling silver jewelry. These last few years I have expanded to sell fashion jewelry, western jewelry, flip flops, handbags, scarves, hitched horsehair items, horse tack, pet collars, leashes, bling caps, key chains, kids backpacks, jewelry & watches, wedding veils, gloves, handbags and shrugs. I sell at fairs , bazaars and flea markets around Montana. I ship 6 days a week except when I am away at a fair or on vacation. Thank you for visiting my store and know I appreciate your business! Happy Shopping!"

Here a few of the products that will find in the their online shop with Citify

We strongly recommend that you take a look at their products, they all seem to be of high quality. We wish Lazy Acres much sucess on Citify.  

 

 

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Citify Shopping Channel

 

Citify started a shopping channel on a stream T.V, on ROKU ( IPTV ).  The idea is to allow small businesses who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate on the medium of television, to advertise their products and services. 

This service in combination with the Ctify app will allow shoppers to see the products, merchants, advertisement and order it via their smartphones. That is to say if the merchant added products onto the marketplace. Other streaming IPTV TV devices will be considered to be added to the service. This strategy will allow products and shopkeepers to reach 29 million potential clients  and to make their pitch as to why why shoppers should consider buying their product. 

It is also good to note that when a merchant adds a product to Citify, they can also add their video with the product online. This will allow the consumer to either see the product in action or for the merchant to make their sales pitch. The shopping channel allows a way to amplify that pitch to an even greater amount of potential clients. The shopping channel is $9.99USD a month to add the video. Merchants are welcome to add as many video that they wish.  It is always FREE to open a shop and sell products on Citify, only a 5% commision after a sale. 

 

 

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The pros and cons for sellers on 9 online marketplaces

The Marketplaces

 

Not all online marketplace are created the same, and they are not all designed for the same audience and purposes. Here is a short glimpse of each marketplace and their pros and cons. 

Let us start with the household names Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy.  

1. Amazon

The behemoth, mega, marketplace with an estimated 244 million active members that sells both big brands and products by individual sellers.

Pros: Massive online traffic, multiple product options which allows you to sell anything.  Affiliate marketing, fulfillment by Amazon, 

Cons: The customer is Amazon's, and not the sellers. Amazon competes with sellers and takes very high commissions from merchants upwards to 25% commission depending on product.

2. eBay

Another mega marketplace with 85 million unique visitors a month. The marketplace allows you to place products either for auction or a "buy it now" price.

Pros: Massive online traffic, wide variety of products, easy to establish seller account wide variety of products, branding opportunity for sellers.

Cons: Fees structures are complex and can and expensive, slow transactions in auction format. 

3. Etsy

Etsy is a popular marketplace for handmade crafts and handcraft supplies. 17 unique visitors a month. 

Pros: User friendly, It's easy to set up, lots of traffic, part of a community 

Cons: fees add up, listing fees, credit card fees, saturated markets, limited customization, no shop customization

Other big marketplaces (lesser known)

 

4. Rakuten

Rakuten is an online marketplace similar to Amazon with 39 million unique visitors a month, the majority from Japan. 

Pros: No customer overlap since most customers may not be using other marketplace. A good place to find loyal customers outside of the United States. Rakuten does not compete with the merchants and encourages merchants to compete among themselves. 

Cons:  High shipping costs to Japanese customers, strong competitors, high costs to join at 33$ a month plus commissions as high as 15% for some categories. 

5. Newegg

Newegg is a marketplace that specializes in electronics with 6.1 million unique visitors a month.

Pros: sophisticated shoppers who are looking for particular products, low commission rates, some of the lowest in the industry.  

Cons: Sellers must pass a screening test, shoppers will only purchase products that they have most likely heard of before. 

6. ioffer

On the ioffer marketplace, shoppers offer a price to the sellers. Instead of bidding against other buyers for an item, potential buyers can make you an offer that you can accept or deny.

Pros: Less expensive fees to sell. They have a final value sale depending the price of the item. 

Con: Difficult to navigate, lacks customer service, no branding opportunity, 

7. Bonanza

Bonanza is an C2C online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can sell their products. It has 2.1 million unique visitors a month.

Pro: simple navigation, upbeat community, easy product upload, viable alternative to eBay and Amazon. 

Cons: Less sales potential than on other marketplaces, can't sale identical items, 

Local marketplaces

 

8. Citify

A new online/app marketplace that invites stores, wholesalers, individuals to sell items locally and globally. Shoppers can find items sold in their city or in any other city available on the marketplace. The marketplace also offers a job market for their local merchants to find workers. 

Pros: Easy navigation, locate products by location, easy to open a store, low flat fees 5% for all items, no listing fee, Easy contact between seller and buyer.

Cons: low traffic, no CSV upload, currently not a lot of items available,  

9. Scott's marketplace

Scott's marketplace has the same idea as Citify. A marketplace that seeks to help small businesses get online and show their wares.

Pros: Easy to navigate, nice site, easy to open a store, upbeat community, low 4.99% fee, no listing fees. 

Cons: low traffic, no product share buttons, small presence on the net, USA only sellers. 

 

 

 

Citify.ca is also Citifymarketplace.com

When Citify was first designed, we thought of the Canadian marketplace as the point of focus. However, with time and seeing that many merchants and store owners from around the world have expressed interest we have opened the marketplace to the world. So Citify.ca has is also known as citifymarketplace.com. We presently have merchants from all over the world intrested in delivering their products to their local and global consumers. 

Why Citify ?

Why should there be a marketplace for local city goods and services? why should there be another online marketplace? Why Citify.ca? 

The Big City

The city is a confusing, immense, noisy, bustling, infrastructure with millions of people and hundreds of thousands of stores and shopping malls at every corner of every street screaming for attention.  How can we make sense of it all ? How can we find things ? How much time is spent looking, searching, comparing,  and store hopping to find a certain product. All those hours browsing, searching, driving down to malls, parking the car, pushing through crowds, and the various other adventures and troubles that shopping in brick and mortar stores may cause. Shopping is a huge everyday logistical problem for every shopper everyday.

The vast Internet   

Shoppers are a clever bunch, they will go to the internet to look for items that they are interested in, they do their research, compare, select a store, and then plot out their travels to. It is a matter of survival, time management, and a very smart shopping strategy that has become increasingly the trend. However, there is an issue to this strategy. How will shoppers find the items they are looking for on the internet? How will they know which store to go to ? How will they know what is in their city? Is there a way to have the product delivered?  Many will simply say that they will Google the item and keep their fingers crossed. The truth is Google will not show shoppers all the stores available in their city, it will not show all websites of every store that have the desired item, shoppers will not be able to truly compare and make a complete research of the best prices in the city. Shopping for local goods and services on google can be very frustrating if not at times impossible. Google search results will most likely show BIG box stores with huge advertising budgets. So the shopping results on Google is in the favor of those shops that have the means to advertise online. The internet is simply too big to find local stores that offer the item shoppers are looking for. 

The Small Merchant

The small merchant looks at the internet as an abstract foreign entity, separate from their brick and mortar shop. They will sporadically attempt to place some content online, in a Facebook page, a little tweet, an Instagram, a website, very few have an eCommerce solution to drive online sales. Many small merchants are uneasy and uncertain in the way to participate in the internet shopping trend. More then 80% of small merchants avoid the internet all together and either see it as an added hassle, frustration, and an investment with uncertain results.  

The BIG price tag of eCommerce platforms

The small merchants and anyone who would like to have an eCommerce platform often balk at the price tag of having an eCommerce platform. Everything from custom eCommerce design to SAAS solutions like Shopify, Megento, Woocomerce, Pastashop, etc etc can be quite expensive, confusing, complicated, and intimidating. The development of an eCommerce platform can cost thousands of dollars, but there is also the costs of marketing the platform, hiring skilled designers, SEO gurus, graphic designers, etc etc. Furthermore, the investment does not guarantee any ROI (return on investment) as their expensive stand alone site stands in a digital ocean of the internet, showing up very little times on Google, possibly ranking on the 100th search page, possibly attracting very little attention and very few shoppers. 

The BIG online marketplaces

Amazon and eBay are popular household names. They are behemoths of the online marketplace model. They are great for global, international, sales, but they evidently are not serving the regional city population and its many unique shops, artisans, merchants of every-stripe. They do not serve the shopper who is looking for products in their city. The fun thing about citify.ca is that it can also be used to shop in other cities for products, so in a way it is also global as the aforementioned sites, but with a very unique perspective on local shops and shoppers that BIG behemoth online marketplaces do not. 

So, why Citify.ca? 

Citify.ca makes sense out of the city. It saves time, money, and sanity. Citify is the shoppers friend, a handy shopping tool, as they search for items in their city, compare prices, and either visit the store with the desired item or purchase it directly online, and have it shipped to their door. It is simple, the shopper pops out their cell phone, tablet, and starts browsing for local goods and services and purchasing it online, time saved, energy saved, sanity saved. Citify.ca is the small merchants easy way into the net, they open a store (1 min) create profile (2 min) add products (2 min each) post it, and it's online and ready to sell. No programming, no headaches, and best of all its FREE.  Merchants extend their reach across the city, the country even the world. Citify.ca allows merchants and shoppers to connect, it allows them to ask questions, negotiate, review, and share. Citify serves a need that is relevant as more and more people use the internet as a tool to find local products and services. At the time of writing, Citify.ca is a small, young, online marketplace, but with time we hope the marketplace will become an indispensable shopping tool.