Today we’re launching One Eastbourne, or 1ebn.com for short. It’s a new home for Eastbourne independent retailers on the internet.
TechResort has wanted to help indy retailers for a while. They bring variety and life to our town, and many are facing challenging economic times.
The lockdown has made things a lot worse. As shops and cafes have closed, livelihoods are at risk. In the meantime Jeff Bezos is coining it.
Retailers with some form of online shop and the ability to deliver locally are getting by, and we want to help others do the same.
How it works
We’ve created a new marketplace based on the world beating and widely used Shopify platform. It’s secure, slick and works really well on mobile phones. Shoppers will be able to browse the best indy shops in town, search for products and browse by category (eg Food, Clothes, Pet supplies).
There’s one basket, and one checkout – you can pay with all the leading debit and credit cards, Shopify Pay, GPay and Apple Pay. If you browse the site on an iPhone (it looks great), you can check out in 10 seconds with Touch ID or FaceID.
The site is up and running now, and you can have a look. It mostly includes test products (not real ones) and the checkout is switched on. If you put your payment details in you’ll be charged, so best be careful!
You can sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page, and we’ll let you know as new retailers join.
Calling indy retailers!
If you have no online shop of any kind, it’s very easy to get started. Get in touch and we’ll show you how.
If you have a Shopify store already, it’s even easier. Every product you add to your existing store appears on 1ebn.com automatically, so there’s no extra work for you to do.
The money angle
TechResort sadly does not have a magic money tree. Our reserves are largely allocated to printing protective face shields, and we’re wholly reliant on donations from kind people and companies to stay afloat.
1ebn.com was built for free over the last few weeks by Theo, Will and Miles with design help from Adam. Check out these great brand visuals.
Licence costs for the software are being covered by Will for a year. We still need to create some simple terms and conditions for customers and retailers (aiming for end of the week), and Miles is paying for them. When 1ebn.com starts making money these costs will be refunded.
There’s ongoing admin our Elves will need to do:
- Helping retailers join 1ebn.com and providing ongoing support
- Checking new products before they go live
- Answering customer questions and dealing with returns (although these will mostly go direct to retailers)
- Marketing 1ebn.com and developing new site features
- Creating a local delivery service if needed (most retailers we’ve spoken to are happy to do this themselves for now)
We’ve received no government, council or other funding to create this project, so we’re bootstrapping the best we can.
To begin with, there’s no fee of any kind to join (indy retailers don’t have spare cash lying around) and we’re charging 10% commission on all sales. As the platform grows and we cover our admin costs, we’ll reduce that. We’re aiming for 5% and will let you know how that goes.
The idea is to put as much money in the local economy as possible. Indy retailers are typically charged 15 – 30% by other online marketplaces, and that money leaves town. We’re going to charge less, and the money will stay in Eastbourne.
If there’s any profit, it will go towards meeting TechResort’s not-for-profit mission of upskilling our town. If we make lots of money (which would be great!) we’ll first lower our rates so more goes back to indy retailers. If 1ebn.com profits grow further we’ll start donating to other good causes.
This is a new direction for TechResort, but we needed to step up to help indy retailers in need. Please support us and your town with future purchases at 1ebn.com. If you have any comments or suggestions please do let us know below.