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The Story Behind Shopitnear- How We were Inspired to Start An Alternative Marketplace For Small Businesses

retail business

By Martha Joveluro


One evening, during the first national lockdown, my husband and I were chatting about shopping. I love baking (because I love eating cake!!) and we were talking about how the supermarkets were out of flour but some of the independent shops nearby still had supplies. It seemed to us that not many people knew that these local shops had flour in stock and we felt that there should be an easier way to browse and shop from Small Businesses. And in that moment, during that conversation, our idea for Shopitnear was born!

An Alternative Marketplace for Customers

We want to help customers like us: customers who are aware of the need to support Small Businesses, who feel satisfied when ‘’Shopping Small’’ and who feel their conscience pricked when they make a purchase from a huge corporation. But at the same time, customers who, like us, are strapped for time; who need the convenience of online shopping and who haven’t got the capacity to trawl the web let alone visit the High Street regularly.

So, with Shopitnear, we want to give customers the best of both worlds: an easy way to shop from many different Small Businesses through one convenient marketplace website.

We’re excited to be offering a family run alternative to the dominant global marketplaces. On Shopitnear customers can buy food, gifts, clothes, jewellery, homeware, toys and more, ALL from UK Small Businesses, ALL in one easy transaction. Shopitnear gives customers Choice and Convenience as well as the Confidence that they are supporting Small Businesses with every purchase.

And by giving customers this ease when Shopping Small, we want to see UK Small Businesses thriving as a result!

An Alternative Marketplace for Small Businesses

On Shopitnear you’ll find small businesses of all types- those starting out as well as those established for many years. One of the things that has been clearly shown by the Covid pandemic is how vital it is for independent retailers to be able to sell their goods online. Yet so many sellers or small businesses still do not have their own website or one where their products are listed for sale- it can seem such an expensive and time-consuming task.

With Shopitnear, a small business owner can set up and list unlimited products for free, getting their own personalised shopfront with unique URL and full support from us at no cost. (For full information about Selling on Shopitnear, click here)

I hear often about rising or hidden costs on many of the long-established marketplaces or selling platforms. At Shopitnear, we appreciate that every penny counts for Small Business owners and so we’re committed to keeping our marketplace as low-cost as possible.

Time is also a precious commodity for Small Business owners and that’s why I offer to help them with the set-up process if needed. Furthermore, they can contact me any time they have questions or need any support as they continue to sell on Shopitnear.

I believe this direct contact and personal service really sets us apart. Lighthouse Toys is an independent online retailer that lists hundreds of products on Shopitnear and also on several other marketplaces. This is their feedback: ‘’We really enjoy working with Shopitnear as the owners are so helpful and responsive. The quality of service is amazing’’

We Want to Bring Customers and Small Businesses Together

So, in summary, our vision for Shopitnear is to enable customers to do the majority of their shopping through Small Businesses and for those Small Businesses to flourish as a result.

And we’d love you to join us in bringing that vision to life! How? Firstly, by shopping on Shopitnear. Whatever you need to buy, whether it’s something for yourself, your home or a gift for others, why not check first if you can find it from a Small Business on Shopitnear?

And if you have a product business yourself, you’d be very welcome to join our growing community and list your wonderful products on Shopitnear. We are sure you will love the personal service we provide that sets us apart from the other global marketplaces.

Let’s work together to support Small Businesses for the benefit of us all!


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I'm very glad that you had that first conversation, and have worked so hard to provide such an ethical platform. I will shop at Shopitnear whenever I can.
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