On Tuesday, Streetify, a shopping platform, announced that it was providing retailers access to its platform for free for one year in the U.S., Canada, U.K., India and Australia.
According to the company's announcement, Streetify enables retailers to set up virtual storefronts and post messages on their digital windows about deals, new hours, delivery options, what goods they have in stock and other information. Shoppers can also create and organize their personalized avenues with their favorite stores and follow celebrities, per the company's statement.
The platform searches sites like Groupon, Rakuten and Honey for voucher codes, cashback offers and coupons and places those deal links in store windows after any store owner's messages, the company said in its press release. It also allows users to see which stores are open and order items for pick up or delivery.
Long before the COVID-19 outbreak began, various retailers like Wayfair, Ikea and Sally Beauty tested out augmented reality or virtual reality tools to introduce products to customers before they purchased them. But as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, the experimentation with digital tools may prove to be useful for reasons beyond their original intent.
Many retailers have had to close their brick-and-mortar stores to comply with government orders as well as keep shoppers and staffers safe. So far, the outbreak has had a varied impact on retailers. As malls have closed down and small retailers' operations have been upended during this crisis, Amazon is facing a spike in out-of-stock items.
At the same time, analysts from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush don't anticipate that the transition to e-commerce will outweigh the in-store shopping decline. For shoppers who must brave in-store shopping, retailers like Target and Walmart have to address consumers' sanitation concerns.
In its statement, Streetify said it aims to support governments' efforts to save local businesses during the spread of COVID-19. The announcement comes as many consumers shift their shopping online but are also concerned about buying fake goods.
"Since launching Streetify last week, we have now transformed over five million local stores and national websites into virtual stores so firms and consumers can respond to the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in," the company's founder Martin Banbury said in a statement.