Mercury Order R&D project supported by EU and Invest NI

Mercury Order R&D project supported by EU and Invest NI

Mercury Order is being further developed thanks to financial support from the European Union’s Research & Development Fund and Invest Northern Ireland.

The proposed one year R&D project is designed to facilitate Grofuse in continuing to develop Mercury Order as a leading online ordering platform for smaller, local, independent retailers – to help make shopping local digital.

With this vote of confidence from the EU and Invest NI, the Mercury Order team is undertaking extensive market research fuel our growth plans by further developing our system to make e-commerce simple and affordable for smaller businesses wishing to sell online.

The R&D process includes extensive market research to allow us to identify what the market wants and needs to improve the experience in what is a transformed retail landscape following the Covid-19 pandemic. This will help identify the shortfalls of existing systems and allow us to refine the product to maximise sign-ups and retention in our targeted niches. Research involves A-B Testing, customer experience modelling and scoping exercises.

Mercury Order is a platform that makes online ordering fast and easy for the customers of both retailers (B2C) and wholesalers (B2B). The platform provides a perfect online trading solution for the traditional local stores such as butchers, boutique bakeries, farmers’ markets, delis (retailers which have not digitalised due to implementation costs, the complexity of existing systems on the market) and more. As demand for online retail surged amid the coronavirus chaos, Mercury Order for retail emerged with the aim of allowing smaller retailers to cost-effectively level the playing field with their bigger competitors who had already established strong footholds in e-commerce.

Increased demand for online selling facilities for dark kitchens/stores/warehouses has also surged and Mercury Order will provide the simplest solution on the market for this transformed retail landscape.

The platform will also provide a traditional retail experience for customers from those non-traditional retailers/wholesalers which are trading without dedicated physical stores.

This project is designed to help make shop local digital. This online ordering system has shop local at its heart, allowing local retailers to compete with big multiples – many of whose online services were found very much wanting during the ongoing pandemic (with regular shoppers unable to secure collection or delivery slots). This product provides a very cost-effective solution for retailers wishing to scale online, improve stock management and promote social responsibility to customers and staff regarding social distancing in tough times. It will increase capacity for local people to spend their money locally whether shopping online with their local butcher, baker or candlestick maker. This increased local spend in local stores is very important to sustaining town and village economies around NI and beyond.